Will left-wing candidate Pedro Castillo make Peru a second Venezuela? The question, deliberately provocative, is caricatured. But it has become classic in Latin America, this discourse serving as a scarecrow agitated by the right to discredit the left. In Peru, Mr. Castillo, who had created the surprise by arriving at the head of the first round of the presidential election, on April 11, remains favorite for the second round, scheduled for June 6. But his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori, is now following him in the polls.
Presented as the last avatar of communism, Mr. Castillo, a unionist teacher of 51 years, would threaten the democratic and economic balance of the country. He “Will push back in a barbaric way”, making it “Even poorer than he is”, thunders the writer and Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa in a ardent tribune published in the Spanish daily The country. He therefore prefers Keiko Fujimori.
The daughter of former autocrat Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), whom Mario Vargas Llosa had faced at the polls in 1990, is being prosecuted for money laundering in the case of the occult financing of his previous election campaigns and risks thirty years in prison. imprisonment. Heiress and fierce defender of Fujimoriism, a popular and authoritarian far-right current, singer of neoliberalism, Mme Fujimori would be a “Lesser evil” in the eyes of the writer.
An opinion widely shared in the national press. In everyday life Trade, in the hands of the large conservative group of the same name, which owns 80% of newspapers and several television channels, alarmist editorials follow one another in the face of the possible victory of the left-wing candidate: “Chronicle of an announced disaster”, “Democracy in danger ”… In the streets of Lima, the capital, mysterious giant signs appeared at the end of April: “Think about your future, not about communism”, “Protect your work and your freedom” …
Second wave of Covid-19
It is in this polarized atmosphere that the vote will take place, Sunday, June 6, while Peru is still not out of the second wave of Covid-19 and that the month of April 2021 was the deadliest since start of the epidemic.
M. Castillo, qui “Campaigned for a long time in a center-left party, before becoming a little radicalized”, has a program that wants above all “Give more room to the State”, explains researcher Gustavo Pastor. Mr. Castillo thus proposes a referendum to modify the current Constitution established in 1993 by the Fujimorist government, which has carved in stone the primacy of the private sector.
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