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Tue Jun 8, 2021, 08:48 AM

Peru makes a radical choice. Will it pan out?

Fed up with years of political dysfunction, and wracked by the world's worst per capita COVID death toll, Peruvians have made a radical new choice for president.

After a day or so of nail-biting uncertainty, the results of Sunday's runoff appear to show that Pedro Castillo, a Marxist-leaning former schoolteacher who gets around on horseback and carries an oversized pencil with him everywhere, has edged out Keiko Fujimori, the authoritarian-minded daughter of the country's former dictator.

Who is this guy? Barely known to most Peruvians until just months ago, Castillo shocked the political establishment by advancing to the second round of the presidential election with just under 19 percent of the vote. Now he has won the top job by defeating Fujimori, a deeply unpopular yet immensely powerful rival who has lost her third bid for the presidency.

Castillo's victory is a backlash against the political class. Last November, mass street protests erupted when the country churned through three presidents in a single week following the impeachment of the incumbent for a vote-buying scandal years before he took office. With about half of Peruvian lawmakers currently under investigation for crimes from money laundering to homicide, it's no surprise that turnout was well below Peru's historical average for presidential votes, and that a (slim) majority of voters have placed their trust in an outsider like Castillo to stand up to Lima's corrupt swamp.

Indeed, Castillo styles himself as a man of the people. His signature is a cowboy hat, and his horsemanship is part of his rustic appeal. The giant pencil, meanwhile, symbolizes his party's focus on educating the rural poor. At the same time, he's also a pragmatist — to broaden his appeal beyond the countryside, in the past he has been willing to strike deals with players as wide-ranging as former members of the far-left Shining Path guerrilla movement on the one hand, and members of Fujimori's party on the other.

https://www.gzeromedia.com/peru-makes-a-radical-choice-will-it-pan-out

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Reply Peru makes a radical choice. Will it pan out? (Original post)
Klaralven Tuesday OP
Voltaire2 Tuesday #1
Roisin Ni Fiachra Tuesday #2
Polybius Tuesday #3
Voltaire2 Tuesday #4
obamanut2012 Tuesday #7
malaise Tuesday #10
obamanut2012 Tuesday #6
Sympthsical Tuesday #5
Klaralven Tuesday #8
DFW Tuesday #9

Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 09:42 AM

1. well we will of course do everything we can to sabotage his administration.

So there is that.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 09:43 AM

2. Trumpymora is already using the "Big Lie", claiming the election was stolen. nt

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 11:47 AM

3. So the choices are a commie vs. a fascist?

Ugh, no one mainstream had a chance?

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Response to Polybius (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 11:56 AM

4. he's a moderate socialist.

He wants to "spend 10 percent of GDP on education and health, and redistribute mining profits to fund social programs."

I know that this probably shocks and upsets you, but it ain't 'communism'.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 12:04 PM

7. I love how people throw "Communist" around

It isn't only the Right, either. Especially since most of the people they think are Communist (ie China, which isn't) aren't. I mean, most of the Nordic countries are more "Commie" than so-called Communist countries (again, like China, which isn't Communist).

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 02:14 PM

10. +1,000

Just the truth - sometimes I am shoked at how many folks here defend policies for the wealthy

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Response to Polybius (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 12:01 PM

6. Commie, really???

How 1955 of you.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 11:57 AM

5. When an apple is full of rot, sometimes it's best to find a new apple

Rather than nibble along the edges.

Peru is such an interesting country to watch. The Japanese diaspora there has made such an impact on the country's politics, even though they're a really tiny percentage of the population. Something like 2%. Keiko Fujimori is the daughter of Alberto - the first Japanese-Peruvian president.

Could you imagine that sort of thing in America? Would never happen.

But yeah, they need the turnover. Good for them. Let's see how it shakes out.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 01:02 PM

8. Japnese are more similar to the Native American population of Peru than are Europeans

Japanese and Native American populations both descend from Upper Paleolithic Northeast and North Central Asian populations.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jun 8, 2021, 02:12 PM

9. It sounds like a can't-be-any-worse-and-might-be-better choice

I don’t blame them. He’s unlikely to be another Hugo Chávez, and he might even bring some fresh air into the country’s government, although: having won by a tiny margin means he’ll face some strong headwinds from some powerful and influential people. But maybe he’ll have some street smarts and build some bridges where there didn’t use to be any. This bears watching.

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