* Right-wing Fujimori has overtaken leftist in polls
* Fujimori has tried to distance herself from father
By Terry Wade and Marco Aquino
LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's presidential front-runner
Keiko Fujimori has hired former New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani as an adviser, trying to bolster her law-and-order
credentials without relying on the image of her divisive
father, jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.
Giuliani, whose tough and popular police tactics were
credited for cutting crime and who cast himself as a global
expert on terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks, will help
Fujimori's campaign design public safety programs.
"He has a great record of fighting delinquency, so I think
his presence here is helpful to strengthen our proposals," the
the 35-year-old candidate said of Giuliani Monday.
Her announcement comes after weeks in which analysts said
she needed to distance herself from her father, jailed former
President Alberto Fujimori who ruled Peru with an iron fist in
the 1990s, if she hoped to woo moderate voters in the tight
race for the June 5 election.
After staunchly defending her father for years, Fujimori
last month apologized for the first time for what she called
the excesses of his authoritarian rule, during which she served
as first lady after he separated from her mother.
Pollsters say those comments have helped her move slightly
ahead of left-wing Ollanta Humala in opinion polls. Public
safety is a top concern of voters, according to the polls.
The elder Fujimori won praise for ending hyperinflation and
a long-running fight against rebels that killed nearly 70,000
people. But he was later convicted of corruption and trampling
on human rights in a dirty counterinsurgency campaign.
Keiko Fujimori indicated Giuliani will mainly help with
programs combating urban crime, though Peru faces broad
Peru has seen a rise in violent crime in recent years that
local police say is related at least in part to drug
trafficking. The country is the top global producer of coca
leaf used to make cocaine.
The government is also trying to catch two remnant bands of
Shining Path rebels who went into the cocaine business after
their leaders were captured in the 1990s by the elder
Fujimori's security forces.
Despite her denials, critics fear she would unilaterally
try to free her father from jail if elected. They also say much
of her campaign team is comprised of former aides to her
The younger Fujimori appeals to a narrow voting base that
strongly defends her father, along with the business elite who
remembers her father for opening the economy to trade.
In the last week, she has risen in polls as moderate voters
shy away from Humala, who many fear might roll back years of
free-market reforms in the surging economy.
Humala, a former army officer who led a short-lived revolt
against Fujimori's father, campaigns as a moderate leftist but
he spooks investors with his more nationalist policy platform
that outlines an interventionist agenda for the economy.
(Additional reporting by Marco Aquino; editing by
© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.