Peru votes for president: the Marxist professor who challenges big business against the daughter of the dictator Fujimori

Peru votes for president: the Marxist professor who challenges big business against the daughter of the dictator Fujimori
Peru votes for president: the Marxist professor who challenges big business against the daughter of the dictator Fujimori

A few hours from ballot, the challenge for the presidency of the Peru. On Sunday 6 June, in fact, the nearly 25 million people entitled to vote will be asked to choose who will lead the South American country for the next five years, succeeding the interim president. Francisco Sagasti. On the one hand Pedro Castillo, teacher and Andean and Marxist trade union leader, candidate of Free Peru. On the other Keiko Fujimori, conservative candidate of Fuerza Popular and daughter of the former dictator Alberto Fujimori.

A delicate battle, in a country that is greatly suffering from the consequences of the pandemic Covid-19: with over 180 thousand dead out of a total of approx 33 million inhabitants, the Peru it is the first country in the world for deaths per hundred thousand inhabitants and for the ratio between cases and deaths (such as Mexico. Data source: Johns Hopkins University). To make the situation are the numbers related to poverty, which covers about 30% of the population, with 1.8 million new poor registered in 2020 due to the coronavirus. But not only that: the wounds of the Andean country also derive from corruption endemic, skyrocketing political instability (four presidents in the last five years) and strong popular discontent, which in recent months resulted in violent protests against the entire political system.

Here because the appointment electoral at the gates warms the minds of the Peruvian people, polarizing the debate. The two candidates, in fact, they represent two opposite worlds. Castillo, of footprint socialist, focuses on the radical change of the system, proposing economic changes in the publicistic sense and a new one Constituent Assembly. Fujimori, ex first lady youngest in Latin America, he defends the Constitution neoliberal, tickling the populist right. Furthermore, the request from the prosecutor’s office hangs on her 30 years in prison for various charges, including conspiracy and money laundering.

The polls give several points of advantage in favor of Castillo, which in the first round, on 11 April, had obtained almost 19% of the votes. Very rooted in the Andean areas, the candidate of Free Peru however, he will have to work hard to conquer the Pizarro’s house. His challenger Fujimori, who had just over 13% in the first round, is ahead in Lima Metropolitan (which counts almost a third of the inhabitants of Peru). Nothing is therefore taken for granted.

“No more poor in a rich country”. The pencil and the hat, the teacher who scares big companies – White shirt and straw hat, red collar and cuffs, the 51 year old Pedro Castillo he is a country man. And to the wealth of the earth, in the face of socio-economic conditions opposed for the majority of the population, it is based on its motto. Among the hot topics of his electoral proposal is the fight against pandemic, which in Peru, despite closures e limitations very strict, she was particularly ferocious. Also due to a inadequate health system and the very high rate of informal work: around 70%, one of the highest in Latin America. A not insignificant factor, since many Peruvians have had to choose whether to go to work or not have money to survive. Conditions of extreme difficulty in a country where more than 40% of families do not have a fridge. Thus emerged the candidacy of the teacher and trade unionist of left radical, who looks favorably on examples socialists. Starting from Cuba.

The program of Castillo provides nationalizations in strategic sectors, higher taxes for investors foreigners and fierce struggle against inequalities, with the formation of a new one Constituent Assembly. Not to mention the desire to expel the US military from Peru, the give and it Usaid (the US agency for international development), leaving the ‘Lima Group’. It goes without saying that his possible election is feared above all by the country’s business class. On traditional media, Castillo in fact it is discredited not only because it is an Andean but also in the name of anti-communism. With accusations of sympathy for “terrorism” and for guerrilla groups such as Shining Path. A practice known as terruqueo.

Mrs. K e l’incubo del Fujimorismo – Almond-shaped eyes, straight black hair, Keiko Fujimori leads the party Popular Force. Forty-six years, a life in politics, the Mrs K is the emblem of the Fujimorism, as the daughter of the former dictator Alberto Fujimori, said The Chinese for its Asian origins. His father, riding from 1990 to 2000, now 82, serves a 25-year sentence in prison for crimes against humanity and corruption, imposed on him in 2009. the help of Vladimir Montesinos, at the time his head of the secret services) of the guerrilla movements of the left – Shining Path but also the Mrta (Túpac Amaru revolucionary movement) – the Fujimorist period was marked by abuse and crime. In addition to the neoliberal policies, crystallized in the Constitution of 1993 and still in force. Not to mention the forced sterilization campaign against over 300,000 women from indigenous communities. A real ethnic cleansing.

Keiko Fujimori however, on the closing day of the electoral campaign, he asked for “forgiveness” to all “those who felt harmed by us”, referring to the crimes of the dictatorship. From tanks to the violent repression of leftist guerrillas, up to the forced sterilization of over 300,000 indigenous people. Despite this, he still promised the pardon for the father in case of victory. Already nominated twice for the presidency, in 2011 and 2016, losing both times, Keiko Fujimori she was also arrested twice for illegal financing. In jail until May 2020, she was released on health grounds. Recently, however, the prosecutor made very heavy accusations against the candidate (and her party), as part of the scandal Odebrecht: the request is for 30 years in prison. Yet, despite a judicial situation that is anything but reassuring, the Mrs K – against which thousands of Peruvians have taken to the streets in recent days throughout the country – relies on the confidence of the moderate electorate, also looking to the center. In this sense, the endorsement towards him received by the Peruvian writer and politician was heavy Mario Vargas Llosa. The game is on.

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