LIMA, Peru – Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday, saying he displays dictatorial attitudes.
Fujimori will compete in a June 5 runoff against leftist former military officer Ollanta Humala, whom critics in Peru liken to Chavez.
Fujimori made the remark about Chavez during a news conference when asked if she would cut relations with Venezuela if elected.
"I believe Mr. Hugo Chavez has dictatorial attitudes. However, if I am president of Peru, I'm going to work for the integration of Latin America," she said.
She said she would focus on having good relations with the region's nations "in spite of the ideological and political differences there may be with certain presidents."
Her father, Alberto Fujimori, was Peru's president from 1990 to 2000 and is now imprisoned for corruption and government-sanctioned killings during his administration.
Keiko Fujimori, a 35-year-old congresswoman, said that during her father's presidency, Peru's government did not display "populist attitudes like those we see on the part of President Chavez."
"My father established an economy that fought against inflation, something that isn't happening in Venezuela," she said, referring to Venezuela's 23 percent inflation.
There was no immediate reaction from Venezuela's government.
Recent polls show Fujimori and Humala are in a tight race ahead of the June 5 vote.
Humala was defeated in the last presidential elections in 2006, and many analysts have said his close association with Chavez appeared to have hurt him then. Humala has distanced himself from Chavez during his current campaign.
Fujimori also said she bears no ill feelings toward Chile, which extradited her father to Peru in 2007 on charges that eventually led to his conviction and a 25-year sentence.
Her father had fled Peru amid scandal in 2000, moving to his ancestral Japan and resigning the presidency in a fax. He later arrived unannounced in Chile in 2005 and was eventually extradited.
While Keiko Fujimori said that was not the result she had hoped for, "today my father is in Peru and he's close to our family."
She also defended her father's human rights record, acknowledging there were "disappearances" by security forces but saying: "They aren't the responsibility of governments. They're individual responsibilities."
Her father was convicted in 2009 of authorizing death squad killings.
In a related development, Keiko Fujimori dismissed her spokesman, Jorge Trelles, on Thursday after he said in a television interview that Alberto Fujimori's administration "killed fewer, fewer than the two governments that preceded us."
Speaking to reporters Saturday, she said: "I reject the remarks of Mr. Trelles, and for that reason he has been removed."