Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Peruvians Push Humala and Garcia to a Second Round

The Peruvian people have spoken and the election held on April 9th has been finalized by the government. Ollanta Humala, the indigenous left-wing candidate, will be facing off against the centrist Alan Garcia. Humala easily won the first round of elections with 30.7% of the vote to Garcia's 24.3%. The base of Humala's campaign has been the poor population in Peru which have been left out of Latin America's economic growth over the past few years.

Garcia, the former Prime Minister of Peru, oversaw the crash of Peruvian currency in the 1980's, wherein inflation was upwards of 7,000%. Garcia has also been criticized by many of Peru's leftist and poor communities for supporting a bilateral free trade agreement with the United States. Humala opposed this deal, saying it failed to address problems of poverty. In contrast to Garcia's neo-liberal economics, Humala wants to nationalize the mining industry to benefit the public.