Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1130/32416

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

Peruvean Congress building CC/Protontorniyo

Peruvean Congress building CC/Protontorniyo   (Click to enlarge)

Patricio Guzmán, Socialismo Revolucionario - CWI Chile

The second round of the presidential elections in Peru, which takes place on 6 June, will see left candidate Pedro Castillo contest right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori.

On 12 April, Presidential, National Congress, and Andean Parliament elections were held in Peru.

The big winner of the day was the left-wing socialist party, Peru Libre. Its presidential candidate, Pedro Castillo, came first with about 19% of the votes, in an election with a large number of presidential candidates. His party also came first in the Peruvian Congress and in the election of members to the Andean Parliament, with a similar percentage of the vote. Peru Libre will have 28 congress representatives.

No analyst foresaw the exponential growth of support for Pedro Castillo, a socialist and trade unionist from the most militant wing of the teachers' union, along with the growth of his party, Peru Libre.

Covid and poverty

An important layer of the electorate has politically expressed its indignation and desperation about the permanent political crisis and the lack of effective action by the state, especially in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. This has led to over 55,000 deaths and impoverished the population.

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, for example, has warned that poverty will increase from 20.2% to 30.3%. Among those under 18 years of age, poverty will increase by 13%.

The country was already in a situation of permanent political crisis before the arrival of Covid-19. Since the dictator Alberto Fujimori fled Peru in 2000, every president has been involved in cases of notorious corruption or been impeached by Congress.

The depth of the institutional political crisis in Peru is such that the traditional parties have virtually disappeared.

In the recent elections, the so-called political centre has been the great loser; in Congress, there will be eleven different blocs. To this division must be added an even greater polarisation.

Keiko Fujimori, who has been indicted for corruption and many Peruvians believe deserves jail, has gone into the second round to face Pedro Castillo. She is the daughter of the former dictator, Alberto Fujimori, once convicted for multiple human rights crimes.

Keiko Fujimori leads the Popular Force Party, which claims the legacy of her father's dictatorship. For some time, she has been under investigation for corruption. The state prosecution submitted evidence in an 18,000-page document and demanded a 30-year prison sentence for her.

The right wing went to the elections divided, with several presidential candidates.

In the second electoral round, Keiko is likely to be successful if the groups of diverse conservative voters regroup and vote for her, out of fear of reforms or social revolution should Pedro Castillo win. This could block the path for Pedro Castillo and the Peru Libre Party. However, even if this is the case, both the next government and Congress will be very weak.

The state abandoned all its social responsibilities as a result of the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori. He privatised everything he could, and together with his henchman, Vladimiro Montecinos, plundered all they could.

The lack of state services has probably never been more noticeable than in the midst of the Covid pandemic. The public health system cannot guarantee oxygen to patients whose families cannot afford to pay.

Peru has been one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of both health and the economy, with the country's GDP (total output) falling 17.4% during the first half of 2020.

Who are Peru Libre?

The central slogan of Peru Libre is "no more poor people in a rich country". The party was founded in the region of Cajamarca, the poorest of Peru's regions, despite being a region of great mining wealth.

In its ideology and programme, Peru Libre claims "to be an organisation of the socialist left (...) To be of the left it is necessary to embrace Marxist theory and with its light interpret all the phenomena occurring in the world, continent, and national society, its causes and effects, and from this diagnosis propose criteria for solutions that lead to the satisfaction of the majority of the people. Likewise, the Mariateguist ideas [those of left-wing, inter-war writer and activist, José Carlos Mariátegui] are of vital importance with respect to our national, Latin American and even world reality".

In the same programme, they denounce the left that lives in permanent opposition without a governmental programme. They attack the left that has given up its historical mission and whose figures opted for the path of banking, becoming 'labour-business' friendly. They accuse NGOs of 'vile treason'.

A central political objective of Peru Libre is the convening of a Constituent Assembly to replace the 1993 Constitution that was imposed by Fujimori's coup d'état.

In its programme, Peru Libre also proposes 'robust participation of the state in the economy', the nationalisation of strategic sectors, increasing the current 3.5% of GDP allocated to public education, and the 5.4% of GDP spent on public health to 10% for each of them.

For health provision, Peru Libre proposes the creation of a universal, free, quality system. They propose to strengthen the national pension system and gradually eliminate the private pension system.

Pedro Castillo

Peru Libre's presidential candidate, Pedro Castillo, emerged as a national labour leader from his role as a union member of the teachers' union Conare. The largest union in Peru numerically is the Sindicato Unitario de Trabajadores en la Educación del Perú (Sutep) which organises teachers from state schools.

A sector of the union, frustrated by the constant agreements made by the Sutep leadership with various governments, formed the National Committee for the Reorientation of Sutep-Conare.

Conare led a national strike in 2004. In June 2007, it led an indefinite strike to fight against 'teacher evaluations' that ended job stability enjoyed by Peruvian teachers and the municipalisation of public schools in a way similar to the measures used in Chile to privatise education. Sutep joined the strike in July 2007.

The electoral gains of Peru Libre, which in the course of the campaign grew and strengthened, opens the possibility to build a workers' party in Peru based on mass organisations, with a genuinely socialist programme.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 21 April 2021:


What we think

Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football

Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


International

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Elections

Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Workplace

Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


News

Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Campaigns

Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 April 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Peru:

triangle'CAS nunca mas': stop mass lay-offs and precarious contracts in Peru!

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleWorkers' struggles in Peru: eyewitness report

Elections:

triangleWant to fight austerity?

triangleTUSC appeals for widest possible anti-austerity socialist unity for May elections

triangleLocal government elections

triangleArgentine elections see deepening polarisation

State:

triangleMutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers' party

triangleMoney Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism

triangleKazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

Union:

triangleRoyal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

triangleSheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike

International

International

19/1/22

Ireland

Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

19/1/22

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Workers fight threatened closure of women's hostel

19/1/22

Independent

US: Independent Socialist Group launches new paper

19/1/22

Kazakhstan

Eyewitness account of workers' uprising in Almaty, Kazakhstan

12/1/22

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

6/1/22

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Unprecedented, simultaneous mass protests spread across

6/1/22

Chile

Chile's working class delivers vote against ultra-right

6/1/22

Chile

Chile's working class delivers a landslide vote against ultra-right Kast

15/12/21

Sudan

Sudan: End military rule and poverty

8/12/21

Solidarity

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

8/12/21

Abortion

Defending abortion rights in the US

8/12/21

Nurses

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

8/12/21

Chile

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

1/12/21

Argentina

Argentine elections see deepening polarisation

24/11/21

India

Historic victory of India's farmers

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999