Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s momentous decision to pardon former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) will not just define his political legacy but also impact the country’s international image. The pardon, announced by Kuczynski on Christmas Eve, was ostensibly for humanitarian reasons. But its timing pointed to an ulterior motive. Just three days earlier Kuczynski had narrowly survived an impeachment motion in congress. Decisive in this favourable outcome was the abstention of 10 deputies from the main opposition Fuerza Popular (FP) aligned with Fujimori’s son Kenji. Kuczynski now faces an uphill task recovering his credibility and international confidence in Peru.