WOLA Elections Monitor
By Coletta A. Youngers
With less than a week to go before Sunday’s vote, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Noriega, presented a report to the Peruvian government purporting to document Venezuelan government support for the campaign of presidential contender Ollanta Humala. According to Noriega, “We have a very sensitive source in Venezuela who says that Humala receives money, possibly from the Venezuelan Embassy in Lima, where cash is sent by military plane from La Paz (Bolivia), and from there across the border that is controlled by military attaches of the Venezuelan embassy in Lima.” In an interview with Univision, Noriega claims that “sources” in Venezuela have told him that Venezuelan military officers delivered cash for the campaign, but that he won’t release the report or the names of his sources so as to not put them in jeopardy. A high-level Peruvian government official told Univision that the report provided no proof of the allegations.
By Jo-Marie Burt
On April 7, 2009 former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was convicted for human rights violations in three cases: the Barrios Altos massacre, the forced disappearance of nine students and a professor from La Cantuta University, and the kidnappings of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and Samuel Dyer.
Part II: Ollanta Humala
By Jo-Marie Burt and Coletta A. Youngers
After having come close to winning the Peruvian presidential elections in 2006, Ollanta Humala will once again compete in the final round of voting this Sunday, June 5, to determine who will be Peru’s next president; this time however, the outcome is far less certain than was the case the last time around when he faced Alan Garcia. While Keiko Fujimori maintains a slight lead over Humala, the most recent polls have the candidates in a statistical dead heat, with less than one percentage point difference between them. If this trend remains unaltered on election day, then quick counts may not be able to discern a clear winner, and official results could be delayed for two weeks or more. This could escalate the existing climate of polarization that is a notable feature of this drawn-out electoral process.
A Fujimori victory would be “a scenario most of us regarded as an impossible nightmare just a few months ago.”
31 May 2011
The final round of Peru’s hotly contested presidential election will take place on Sunday. Adam talks with renowned Peruvian investigative journalist Gustavo Gorriti, who runs the IDL Reporteros program in Lima, about what is at stake in the vote.
Click here to download the podcast.
Peruvians Organize Massive Anti-Keiko Protest
By Jo-Marie Burt
On Thursday May 26 an estimated 15-20,000 Peruvians participated in a peaceful march to protest the candidacy of Keiko Fujimori. Participants included human rights organizations, victims’ groups, trade unions, student associations, women’s groups, and artist collectives, among others.
“The people are speaking. They are saying that they do not want the return of the dictatorship,” said Rayda Cóndor, who led the march. Her son Armando Amaro Cóndor was one of the disappeared students from La Cantuta, one of the key cases that contributed to the 2009 conviction of Alberto Fujimori for human rights violations.
The offical press, among them Channel N, which played a crucial role in the downfall of the Fujimori dictatorship in 2000, reported that only 300 people were present at the march.
Photographs from Prensa Alternativa
Part I: Keiko Fujimori
By Jo-Marie Burt and Coletta Youngers
With Peru’s second round elections less than two weeks away, the likely outcome is still anybody’s guess. Several polls now show Keiko Fujimori with a slight lead over Ollanta Humala, but taking into account the margins of error of the polls —as well as the fact that many do not reflect the rural vote— the fact is that there is a statistical dead heat between the two candidates. Keiko polls between 41 and 45 percent of the vote, with Humala at 39 to 41 percent. There are a large number of undecided voters, around 8 percent, and a not insignificant number of voters, between 7 to 12 percent, who say they will vote for neither candidate or will spoil their ballot. Interestingly, pollsters note that up to 30 percent of those approached have refused to respond to election surveys.
by Jo-Marie Burt
I lived part of the 1990s in Lima during the time of Alberto Fujimori. I lived the other part of the 1990s in New York when Rudolph Giuliani was mayor. Now, the mayor whose administration was criticized for being authoritarian and abusive, is advising (in terms of crime policy) the daughter of the former president (and now convicted felon) who was also criticized for being authoritarian and abusive. How ironic! After absorbing the news of the arrival of Giuliani in Lima and his multi-city tour with Keiko Fujimori in Peru, I decided to write this post.
Peru’s Upcoming Presidential Elections and Fujimori’s Authoritarian Legacy
By Jo-Marie Burt and Coletta A. Youngers
Two polls released this week show Ollanta Humala with a small lead over Keiko Fujimori as the campaign heats up for the second round of voting in Peru’s presidential elections. With more than a month to go before the June 5 vote, it is far too soon to predict the electoral outcome. But one thing is clear: The rest of the campaign will get ugly, as right-wing sectors are very nervous about the impact of a potential Humala victory on their bank accounts. Most of the mainstream media – with the notable exceptions of the Lima daily, La República, and the weekly magazine, Caretas – is throwing its weight, and electoral coverage, behind Fujimori. Already, several prominent journalists have been fired out of concern that they would not be sufficiently sympathetic to Fujimori and the outspoken Jaime Bayly is going back on the air on Channel 4, presumably as an attack dog targeting Humala. As one Peruvian journalist told us, “we’re going to witness a lot of hysterical accusations in the next few weeks.”
Por Jo-Marie Burt
Para llegar a la segunda vuleta de las elecciones presidenciales, Keiko Fujimori se ha cubierto del manto del legado de su padre. En más de una ocasión ha afirmado que el gobierno de Alberto Fujimori fue el mejor que ha tendio el Perú en toda su historia. Ahora que busca ir mas allá del voto naranja, intenta moderar su discurso.