Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

Peru’s economy grows but support for the government declines

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

x Ollanta HumalaA bittersweet reckoning for Humala

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for July 29, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Carlos Noriega

In the midst of protests on the streets and a significant fall in the polls, President Ollanta Humala yesterday celebrated the second year of his five-year term in office. Humala comes to his second year with 32% support, which represents a troubling decline of 20 points in three months. While Humala was delivering his address to the nation from Congress, the unions, the universities and the citizen movements were demonstrating against his administration, but also against the political class as a whole. The streets of downtown Lima were heavily guarded by more than 5,000 police officers and the area was cordoned off to keep the demonstrators away from the Government Palace and Congress. More than 10,000 people demonstrated in Lima on Saturday and Sunday, and thousands more demonstrated in cities in the interior of the country. The mobilizations were repressed by the police. (more…)

The peculiarities of Peruvian politics

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

((Héctor Béjar))

Héctor Béjar believes Peru lacks a cohesive social movement to confront the dominant economic powers

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for January 10, 2013. See original here.]

By Marcio Zonta

The Peruvian political scene, from the revolutionary military government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado, through the armed conflicts between the military and the senderistas (members of the armed Sendero Luminoso group), to the mafiosi governments of Fujimori and Alan García, then the appearance of Ollanta Humala, have always embodied elements different from other Latin American political processes.

In a frank and revealing conversation with Brasil de Fato, former combatant from the ranks of Che Guevara’s guerrillas and now professor in the sociology department of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Héctor Béjar offers a thoughtful account of the course of Peruvian politics. (more…)

New bases, old interests

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Establishment of military bases in Chile and Peru reveals United States’ intention to increase influence in the region

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 5, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Patrícia Benvenuti

The hope for new relations between the United States and Latin America continues to be ever more distant. Recent activity, in particular the establishment of new military bases, reveals an attempt by the United States to increase its influence in the region.

On April 5, work on the Personnel Training Center for Peace Operations in Urban Zones was completed in Chile. Located at Fort Aguayo, in Concón, in the Valparaíso Region, the base was constructed in 60 days, considered a record time for this kind of project.

The structure consists of eight buildings, which simulate a small city. The cost of the base, financed by the Southern Command of the United States armed forces, was almost 500,000 dollars. The Center will be used for training the so-called Peace Forces of Latin American nations that are part of United Nations missions. (more…)

Peru: Humala challenged by allies and the popular sector

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Twelve civilians have died in repression of social protests in the first year of this president’s term

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 3, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

by Marcio Zonta

Ollanta Humala Tasso finishes his first year in office in the midst of contradictions. In the first week of June alone, the Gana Perú congressional caucus, the base of the Partido Nacionalista Peruano, suffered four losses, for a total of five resignations of congress members who do not approve of the directions taken by the current administration.

Absorbed in the controversial issues of mining and the army’s confrontations in the Peruvian jungles with supposed drug traffickers and members of Sendero Luminoso, Humala has shown little aptitude or receptiveness to dialogue. On the other hand, he shows an extreme readiness for military solutions. (more…)

Peru: Ollanta Humala assumes the office of president

Friday, July 29th, 2011

He forms an inclusive cabinet of both leftists and rightists

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 28, 2011. See original here.]

Lima – The president-elect of Peru, Ollanta Humala, will today introduce an administration with a moderate cabinet, although he will remain faithful to his pledge of greater social inclusion to calm the numerous conflicts involving demands for benefits from the current domestic economic boom.

Humala a few days ago chose a cabinet that largely excluded his supporters from the left, a more conservative selection than that of his political mentor, former Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva.

The president-elect surprised investors when he named two economists admired by Wall Street to lead the Ministry of the Economy and the Central Bank, Luis Miguel Castilla and Julio Velarde, respectively. (more…)

Humala: “I will make every effort to heal Peru’s fractures”

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

[Abridged translation of an article from El Comercio of Lima for June 12, 2011. See original here. El Comercio was an ardent supporter of Keiko Fujimori, Ollanta Humala’s opponent in the presidential elections, one result of which was that Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, who supported Humala as the lesser of two evils, cancelled publication of his weekly column, “Piedra de Toque,” in El Comercio. The politically conservative writer said the paper had violated journalistic standards in its all-out support for the rightist Fujimori.]

By Milagros Leiva Gálvez

“Come quick, maybe Ollanta will give you an interview.” That was the message I got at four in the afternoon, Wednesday, June 8. President-elect Ollanta Humala was seeing members of congress, businessmen and officials at the Los Delfines Hotel and interviewing him was usually an impossiblity. I left on the run. At the hotel, Blanca Rosales, the woman who had been his principal advisor in dealing with the press, told me he didn’t have much time. The president of the congress was expected, the Nicaraguan ambassador, the transition team.

That morning the mayor of Lima, Susana Villarán, had been there and the businessmen. The president-elect was leaving for Brazil that same night. “You only have 30 minutes,” Blanca told me and I gave her a disappointed look. Accustomed to speaking to politicians for over an hour, I made decisions in seconds… (more…)

Peru: Humala and the neoliberal system

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

[Translation of an essay from Generacción of Lima for June 8, 2011. See original here and related article here.]

by José Suárez Danós

Once the democratic triumph of Ollanta Humala as president elect of Peru was known, even before the official vote count was finished, the first thing heard in national and international circles was the unhappiness over his win felt by the transnational forces of the defeated neoliberal system. And what better way to express it than to sound the bugles of war for their hostility and vexation over the interruption of 20 continuous years of unhampered feudal exploitation of the Peruvian economy.

With the goal of suggesting that real political power in Peru still rests with “The System,” and that they intend it to be so, they have taken it upon themselves to send early messages, both open and veiled, through diverse entities and members of their economic, political and media clergy on the continent.

These have ranged from the fierce measure of bringing down by force their own stock market, the Bolsa de Valores of Lima, and the country’s macro-economic indicators the day after Humala’s win, to bringing in a media chorus of news agencies who predict “great fluctuations” in the economy because of his indisputable electoral success, which would continue until a stangely alluded political “stabilization” was achieved. (more…)

Peru heads toward presidential and parliamentary elections

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Ollanta Humala – New York Post photo

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of El Salvador for April 8, 2011. See original here.]

This Sunday Peruvians will vote for their new president in a first round marked by an atmosphere of indecision and fragmentation. Of the ten candidates in the race for president, five hold most of the intended vote, but with all of them far from 50 percent, it is taken for granted there will be a runoff next June 5.

Peru has seen notable economic growth in the past few years. Nevertheless, although the figures on poverty have improved, neoliberal policies have generated good figures in the macroeconomy but not in the distribution of wealth.

So the platforms of all the candidates include social policies favoring the poor, who are still the majority in the Andean country.

Social conflicts, on the other hand, have not disappeared with the economic boom. Sectors like mining are still witnessing discord between businesses, most of which are foreign owned, and residents of areas of natural and ethnic wealth. (more…)

Peru: García would accept military aid from US for anti-drug effort

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Alan García — La República photo

[Translation of an article from La República of Lima for September 5. See original article here.]

President Alan García has said he is prepared to accept military aid from the United States to help combat drug trafficking as long as it is on the level of logistics and training.

“In all matters that are human and universal, I don’t make an issue of sovereignty and patriotism. That is to say, if the Americans wanted to put troops here for training, since they have helicopters, since they have satelite training, that’s fine,” García declared.

The statements were made during an interview given to CNN en Español which will be broadcast next Tuesday.

The president also referred to US President Barack Obama and to the economic aid that country contributes to the struggle against narcotrafficking in Peru, which García considers insufficient.

“President Obama asked me the same question and I told him, ‘It is your fault because you have sent all the money to Colombia, with Plan Colombia, and nothing to Peru,’” García said.

In the past few years, the production of coca leaf and the manufacture of cocaine have increased in Peru to the point of making it the greatest cultivator in the world of the plant, the principal ingredient of the illegal substance.

At the same time, as explained by the executive president of the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas, Rómulo Pizarro, United States economic aid has been decreasing year by year, since the country considers that the Peruvian drug is destined principally for Europe and not for their country.

During the interview, García recognized that “not everything necessary is being done to close the new European and Asian markets, which are demanding more drugs.”

Peru: Oil spill leaves 28 indigenous communities without water or food

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Brack guarantees sanctions and prosecutor warns of penalties of up to 20 years in prison

[Translation of an article from La Razón of Lima for June 23.]

Residents of 28 indigenous communities in the Parinari and Urarinas distrricts, in the province of Loreto, are without water and are prevented from fishing, their principal source of food, after waters of the Marañón River were contaminated by a spill of more than 400 barrels of petroleum, severely affecting the ecosystem of the region.

Residents of the area told local media that “everybody is desperate because they don’t know what is going to happen in the next few hours due to the lack of commitment by Pluspetrol and the authorities. Two children have already suffered stomach problems because they drank water from the river. We have managed to take pictures of contaminated fish, with their fins coated in oil.” (more…)

In Peru, police repression of miners’ demonstration leaves at least one dead

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

[Translation of an article from TeleSUR for April 5.]

Generacion photo

Repression by the Peruvian police against a miner’s demonstration in the southern region of Arequipa on Sunday left at least one dead, according to Javier Velásquez, prime minister of that South American country, while leaders of the protest say three died as a result of police action.

The death acknowledged by Velásquez occurred when police attempted to disperse a demonstration in Madre de Dios, in the southeastern jungles of the country, which the miners had staged to protest a government decree. (more…)