Friday, February 26, 2016

It's all a matter of semantics!

The every-five-year presidential campaign season is upon us in Perú, with elections on April 10th. Among the leading candidates are Keiko Fujimori, daughter of previous president Alberto Fujimori who fled the country during his third term in office and is now serving jail time for corruption, Alan García, who has previously served twice, and who fled the country after his second term and returned when the statute of limitations expired, and a fellow named Cesar Acuña Peralta, who has had a career in education.  
Señor Acuña has based his campaign on the promise of better education for the citizens of Perú, a noble and much-needed goal.  
Acuña  has received two masters degrees, and was awarded a doctoral degree from the University of Madrid, Spain.  However, it has come to light that much of his 2009 thesis supporting that degree was plagiarized. When asked for comment, he said:
     "Plagiarism, for example, is to take something that is not yours.  I say that it is not plagiarism because the title of the thesis is original.  The conclusions of the investigation are original. Therefore, if the title of the thesis and the conclusions are original, it's not plagiarism!"  Well, Duh!  He was also quoted as saying, "It wasn't plagiarism.  I just copied it."
In addition, a book on education is published by the university that Señor Acuña founded and owns, at times with a famous journalist as the author, and at other times with Acuña listed as the co-author, and at other times as the sole author.  The original author, an Otoniel Alvarado, said, "The book is MINE, I don't know what happened to it later."
At an anti-corruption conference (!), Mr. Acuña remarked, while explaining what happened with his thesis, "In the first place, I refuse the word 'plagiarism.'  As I have always said, it was an omission, and this was 25 years ago when I still didn't know that I would be a presidential candidate.  C'mon people!  Applaud for me!"  (Cuz, like, if I'd known I was going to be a candidate, then I would have plagiarized more carefully or something.) 
While we hope that your presidential campaign season is doing better, we have access to Google News, and we know better.
David and Paula

1 comment:

Patti said...

Well. I guess that should make me feel a little better about our presidential campaign. Truth is stranger than fiction.