Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Understanding Alan García

It is nice to see the MSM in the U.S. start to explain why Alan García was so unpopular when he left office despite economic growth, and therefore also why Ollanta Humala won the election. More of these articles would break through all the clueless puzzlement about Peru. From the AP:

While the guerrilla war was largely over when Garcia returned to office, social conflicts in which authorities had to intervene nearly tripled on his watch. Critics claimed his pro-business policies often ignored Peru's native peoples and damaged the environment.
The resulting unrest has claimed 104 deaths and 1,398 injuries since 2008, according to Peru's national human rights ombudsman's office. And few of the underlying conflicts have been resolved.
Garcia leaves President-elect Ollanta Humala, an apparently moderate leftist who assumes office Thursday, with a ticking time bomb of disputes stemming in large part from objections by indigenous groups to the damage to water supplies, crops and hunting grounds wrought by mining, logging and oil and gas extraction.
"On the positive side, (Garcia) leaves a basically healthy economy," said historian and political analyst Nelson Manrique. "On the negative side, he has been authoritarian, hasn't been open to political dialogue and put off dealing with a series of demands that have generated a climate of social volatility."

We hear constantly that we have to wait and see whether Humala will govern responsibly. A better question is whether he can clean up Garcia's huge mess.


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