Is the U.S. Neutral in Peru’s Elections?

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. 

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3 June 2011 ·

Will Alberto Fujimori be set free?

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.

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3 June 2011 ·

Peru Elections Near: A Look at the Candidates

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.

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1 June 2011 ·

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Gustavo Gorriti on Peru's elections

Washington Office on Latin America

Gustavo Gorriti on Peru’s Elections

A Fujimori victory would be “a scenario most of us regarded as an impossible nightmare just a few months ago.”

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.

31 May 2011 ·

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

27 May 2011 ·

Peru Elections Near: A Look at the Candidates

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.

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26 May 2011 ·

Giuliani, Fujimori and me: Nostalgia for the 1990s?

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.

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23 May 2011 ·

Peru’s Upcoming Presidential Elections and Fujimori’s Authoritarian Legacy

Peru’s Upcoming Presidential Elections and Fujimori’s Authoritarian Legacy

Keiko Fujimori with her father Alberto Fujimori

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.”

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28 April 2011 ·

Keiko Fujimori: De tal palo tal astilla

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.

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28 April 2011 ·

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In this episode of WOLA’s “Latin America Today,” host Adam Isacson records George Washington University Professor Cynthia McClintock giving a talk before WOLA’s board on the vote that has left Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori contending in Peru’s June presidential runoff.

16 April 2011 ·

About Us

WOLA Peru Experts:


* Jo-Marie Burt, WOLA Senior Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science at George Mason University. Ms. Burt is the author of Political Violence and the Authoritarian State in Peru (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

* Coletta Youngers, WOLA Senior Fellow. Ms. Youngers has lived in or worked on Peru since 1983 and is the author of Violencia Política y Sociedad Civil en el Perú (Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2003).

WOLA is the leading source for independent analysis and advocacy on Latin America: www.wola.org

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