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Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:05 PM

Leftist close to victory in Peru, despite U.S. opposition and cascade of media slander

Medea Benjamin 28 mins ago

With his wide-brimmed peasant hat and oversized teacher's pencil held high, Peru's Pedro Castillo has been traveling the country exhorting voters to get behind a call that has been particularly urgent during this devastating pandemic: "No más pobres en un país rico" — No more poor people in a rich country. In a cliffhanger of an election with a huge urban-rural and class divide, it appears that the rural teacher, farmer and union leader is about to make history by defeating — by less than one-half of 1 percent, according to the nearly-complete vote count — powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, scion of the country's political "Fujimori dynasty."

Fujimori is challenging the election's results, alleging widespread fraud. Her campaign has only presented evidence of isolated irregularities, and so far there is nothing to suggest a tainted vote. She can challenge some of the votes to delay the final results, however, and as in the U.S., even an allegation of fraud by the losing candidate will cause uncertainty and raise tensions in the country.

Castillo's victory will be remarkable not only because he is a leftist teacher who is the son of illiterate peasants and his campaign was grossly outspent by Fujimori, but because there was a relentless propaganda attack against him that touched on historical fears of Peru's middle class and elites. It was similar to what happened recently to progressive candidate Andrés Arauz, who narrowly lost Ecuador's elections, but even more intense.

Grupo El Comercio, a media conglomerate that controls 80% of Peru's newspapers, led the charge against Castillo. They accused him of being a terrorist with links to the Shining Path, a guerrilla group whose conflict with the state between 1980 and 2002 led to tens of thousands of deaths and left the population traumatized. Castillo's link to the Shining Path is flimsy: While a leader with Sutep, an education worker's union, Castillo is said to have been friendly with Movadef, the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights, a group alleged to have been the political wing of the Shining Path. In reality, Castillo himself was a rondero when the insurgency was most active. Ronderos were peasant self-defense groups that protected their communities from the guerrillas and continue to provide security against crime and violence.


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Reply Leftist close to victory in Peru, despite U.S. opposition and cascade of media slander (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 11 OP
bahboo Jun 11 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 12 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 11, 2021, 03:23 PM

1. good...I'm kind of surprised actually....

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Response to bahboo (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 12, 2021, 11:38 AM

2. Same here. Their right-wing has always been powerful, classist, deadly, and determined. 🔪

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