The Andes
castillo

Peru: electoral upset portends polarization

Peru seems poised for polarization following surprise results in first-round presidential elections that saw a previously unknown leftist candidate, Pedro Castillo, taking 19% of the vote in a very crowded field—more than any of his rivals. In a June run-off, he will face his runner-up—hard-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, who took 13%. The two candidates represent the extremes of Peru’s electoral spectrum. Fujimori is the daughter of imprisoned ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori—and had herself been imprisoned as corruption charges were pending against her last year. Her Fuerza Popular party is the paradoxical populist vehicle of the most reactionary sectors of the country’s elites, and has actually been assailed as a “mafia organization.” Castillo, in vivid contrast, is a former school-teacher and trade unionist of campesino background from the poor and rural Andean region of Cajamarca. His successful grassroots campaign is seen an upsurge from such forgotten parts of the country, in rejection of the Lima-based political class. (Photo of Pedro Castillo in Lima via Twitter)

The Andes

Peru: Fujimori pardon revoked; struggle continues

Peru's Supreme Court revoked the pardon of ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori, ordering him back to prison. His supporters in Congress are drafting a law to make the pardon permanent, but this is on dubious constitutional grounds and violates international human rights treaties. Meanwhile, survivors of the Fujimori-era "dirty war" continue to seek justice for the crimes of that period. One campaign is to block right-wing candidate Daniel Urresti, accused in the assassination of journalist Hugo Bustíos, from running for mayor of Lima. (Photo: Diario Uno)

The Andes

Peru: ex-Senderistas transferred to house arrest

Two imprisoned leaders of the Sendero Luminoso guerilla movement were released from military prison to house arrest by authorities in Peru, sparking outrage and debate in the country's media. Osmán Morote and Margot Liendo were arrested by anti-terrorist police in Lima in 1988. They completed their 25-year terms in 2013, but remained in detention as new charges were brought against them, concerning attacks in which some 150 were killed. The transfers from the detention facility at Callao Naval Base were ordered by the National Penal Chamber of Peru. Both Morote and Liendo were required to pay a bond of 10,000 soles ($3,100), and will be guarded at their homes in the Lima area by National Police agents. They have both declared a hunger strike in protest of the police presence and house arrest order, saying they should have absolute freedom after serving their terms. But President Martín Vizcarra called upon the judges to reverse their decision, and keep the pair behind bars while the new charges are pending against them. (Photo: Infobae)

The Andes

Plunging potato prices provoke protests in Peru

Potato farmers across Peru's sierras blocked roads with their tractors and trucks for weeks, demanding a subsidized distribution system for the staple crop in the face of plummeting prices. The National Commission of Potato Producers (Conapropa) struck a deal with the government, but wildcat protests continued in Huancavelica, Huánuco, Junín, Ayacucho and Arequipa regions. Finally, farmers advanced on Lima in a cross-country motorcade. This forced Conapropa leader Fernando Gutiérrez back to the table, meeting with Agriculture Minister José Arista to strike a better deal. Huancavelica regional governor Glodoaldo Álvarez denied government claims of over-production by farmers, and pointed to massive imports since the 2009 Free Trade Agreement with the US. Farmers at the roadblocks carried banners with slogans such as "¡Abajo el TLC!" (Down with the FTA!). (Photo:  La República)

The Andes

Peru: massacre victims exhumed in Ayacucho

Investigators exhumed 21 bodies at a remote hamlet in Peru's Andes—believed to be those of peasants massacred on suspicion of being guerilla collaborators in 1984.

The Andes

Peru: Lucanamarca massacre remembered

Peru's President Ollanta Humala oversaw a ceremony at Lucanamarca village, delivering a "symbolic" package of reparations for the massacre there in April 1983. 

The Andes

Peru: Uchuraccay massacre recalled

Peru’s Press Association recalled the 1983 massacre of eight journalists at the Andean village of Uchuraccay, where they themselves were investigating reports of massacres.

The Andes

Peru’s Congress marks Putis massacre

A ceremony was held on the floor of Peru’s Congress to commemorate the 1984 massacre of over 100 campesinos by army troops at the village Putis, in Ayacucho region.

The Andes
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JUAREZ

Peru's Supreme Court revoked the pardon of ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori, ordering him back to prison. His supporters in Congress are drafting a law to make the pardon permanent, but this is on dubious constitutional grounds and violates international human rights treaties. Meanwhile, survivors of the Fujimori-era "dirty war" continue to seek justice for the crimes of that period. One campaign is to block right-wing candidate Daniel Urresti, accused in the assassination of journalist Hugo Bustíos, from running for mayor of Lima. (Photo: Diario Uno)

The Andes
santi 1

santi2

Potato farmers across Peru's sierras blocked roads with their tractors and trucks for weeks, demanding a subsidized distribution system for the staple crop in the face of plummeting prices. The National Commission of Potato Producers (Conapropa) struck a deal with the government, but wildcat protests continued in Huancavelica, Huánuco, Junín, Ayacucho and Arequipa regions. Finally, farmers advanced on Lima in a cross-country motorcade. This forced Conapropa leader Fernando Gutiérrez back to the table, meeting with Agriculture Minister José Arista to strike a better deal. Huancavelica regional governor Glodoaldo Álvarez denied government claims of over-production by farmers, and pointed to massive imports since the 2009 Free Trade Agreement with the US. Farmers at the roadblocks carried banners with slogans such as "¡Abajo el TLC!" (Down with the FTA!). (Photo:  La República)