Peru - the government of Alejandro
Biography of the Peruvian
President Alejandro Toledo
Results of the legislative elections 2001
The Peruvian cabinet 2001 Roberto
Dañino: Presidencia del Consejo de Ministros
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski: Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas
Carlos Bruce: Ministerio de la Presidencia
David Waisman: Ministerio de Defensa
Fernando Ropigliosi: Ministerio del Interior
Fernando Olivera: Ministerio de Justicia
Diego García Sayán: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Luis Chang Reyes: Transportes y Comunicaciones
Raúl Diez Canseco: Ministerio de Industria
Fernando Villarán: Ministerio de Trabajo y Promoción Social
Nicolás Lynch: Ministerio de Educación
Luis Solari: Ministerio de Salud
Jaime Quijandría: Ministerio de Energía y Minas
Alvaro Quijandría: Ministerio de Agricultura
Javier Reátegui Roselló: Ministerio de Pesquería
Luz Doris Sánchez: Ministerio de Promoción de la Mujer y del Desarrollo
Article added on July 30, 2001
Final result of the legislative elections
of April 8, 2001:
% of valid
Aprista Peruano (APRA)
Independiente Moralizador (FIM)
por el Peru (UPP)
Perú -Causa Democráctica (SP)
Last year, Alejandro Toledo was denied the
Presidency by Alberto Fujimori and his regime through electoral fraud. After
protests by large parts of the population and the discovery of the "Vladivideos",
Fujimori fled to Japan and Toledo managed to win the Peruvian
voters' confidence in new elections. However, he needed two rounds to win over the
populist Alan Garcia of the Partido Aprista
Peruano (APRA). His margin of victory was astonishingly slim (52.5% vs 47.5%)
if one considers that Garcia was the president who almost totally ruined Peru
between 1985 and 1990.
The 55-year old Alejandro Toledo
is a man of Indian descent. In 1946, he was born into a very modest family of
peasants in Cabana, in the area of Ancash
in the province of Pallasca. He grew up in Chimbote where his parents moved in
the hope of a better future by the northern Peruvian coast.
Alejandro studied at G.U.E. San
Pedro where he won several of the school's literary competitions. He became
the correspondent for La Prensa in Chimbote and interviewed leading
politicians such as the general Odría, Haya de la Torre and Belaúnde.
His achievements at school earned
Alejandro a scholarship which allowed him to study economics at the University
of San Francisco in California. After successfully completing his studies
there, he moved to the University of Stanford where he took a PhD in economics
and human resources.
Afterwards, Toledo worked for the
United Nations, the World Band, the ILO in Paris and the OCDE in Paris. Toledo
is a regular professor at ESAN. From 1991 to 1994, he was an economic
researcher in the field of international development at Harvard. Recently, Toledo
was guest professor at the University of Waseda and the Japan Foundation
Among Toledo's publications are
works on economic growth and on structural reforms. His latest book, Las Cartas
sobre la Mesa , describes his political career which led him to found the
party Perú Posible. As its president, he won the Presidential race against
Toledo is married to the Belgian
anthropologist Eliane Karp, who unlike him speaks the native Indian language Quechua.
During the electoral campaign, Karp agitated against the white bourgeoisie -
one has to admit that they did not always cover themselves with glory and that
is why political outsiders such as Fujimori and Toledo were able to attain the
presidency. What does not fit into the new presidential couple's populist
style is their tendency to avail themselves with luxury products. They
carefully adapt their public appearances to their public.
Toledo could not convince everybody that he is
innocent of allegations that he fathered an illegitimate child (Zarai Orosco)
- he refused to submit to a paternity test. He was also accused of incorrect
accounting regarding electoral campaign donations, of taking cocaine and
For many Peruvians, the election
of Toledo was the lesser evil. In contrast to the defeated Alan Garcia, they
do not expect an adventurous economic policy from him. However, Toledo led a
populist electoral campaign. It will soon become clear whether this was
necessary in order to gain the support of the Peruvian masses or whether it is
a dangerous trait of character of the new president. One must admit that a
"serious" but pale bourgeois candidate would probably have lost the
election to the smart left-wing candidate Alan Garcia (APRA), which would most
probably have been another disaster for Peru.
Doubts about Toledo remain. During
his electoral campaign, he stylized himself as the successor of Pachacútec.
The poor Peruvian Indians, who are among Toledo's most fervent followers,
baptized him "Pachacuti" which means "cataclysm" or
"destroyer". It was the name chosen by the Inca ruler Yupanqui who
once expanded and unified the Inca empire. After Toledo had been sworn in as
the new president in Lima on July 28, he moved on to Machu Picchu where he
held another ceremony at the world famous ruins. Is this already the beginning
of Toledo's megalomania?
Peru after the
Like Fujimori once did, Toledo also
appeared at the forefront of politics almost out of nowhere. However, Toledo's
party Perú Posible only won about a fourth of the electoral vote and about a
third of the parliamentary seats. Therefore, he needs the help from other
parties in order to carry out substantial, constructive reforms. Like his
opponent Alan Garcia, Toledo also made pompous promises during the electoral
campaign which he is quite unlikely to fulfill. The majority of Peruvian
voters - living in poverty - will soon experience the fact that Toledo is no
magician. For the last three years, Peru has taken an economic downturn.
has never held public office before and therefore has no executive experience.
His political qualification comes down to three candidacies for president, the
first one in 1995 when he only achieved meagre 3% in his first race against
The results of the legislative
elections of April 8 made Toledo gain broad support for his government.
Therefore, less than 20% of the ministers he appointed come from his own party
Perú Posible. Astonishingly, the man who styled himself as the new Inca did
not nominate one single Indian in his government.
As Minister of Justice, Toledo
chose the founder, president and presidential candidate of the Frente Independiente Moralizador (FIM), Fernando
Olivera, who has the fourth largest parliamentary fraction behind him. Olivera
deserves a lot of credit for having presented the first "Vladivideo"
from the archives of the Peruvian secret service. The vast collection of
compromising videos assembled by the former leading man of the secret service, Vladimiro Montesinos,
was decisive in bringing down the regime of Fujimori and forcing him into
exile in Japan.
Diego García Sayán was already
part of the efficient interim government led by
Paniagua. He switched from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. Sayán is a politically independent lawyer who, for years, has led
the Andes' Jurist Commission. Recently, he has been elected into the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS.
It comes as no surprise that
Toledo chose Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as his Minister for Economy and Finance. Kuczynski
has Polish-Swiss parents. In the last years, he had been working in the United
States as a banker and financial expert. He is considered a political
heavyweight with international contacts whose mission is to build up
confidence abroad for Peru and therefore creating a climate for new credits as
well as attracting fresh foreign direct investments.
Like Kuczynski, the new chief of
the cabinet, Roberto Dañino, is a neo-liberal and both were part of the
government of Belaunde (1980-1985).Since then, for over a decade, Dañino had
been working as a lawyer in Washington where he was responsible for important
investments in the Andes region. He was also one of the co-fouders of the Inter-American
Investment Corporation, the market oriented branch of the Inter-American
Development Bank (IADB).
As Minister for Industry, Trade,
Tourism and Integration, Toledo chose, Raúl Diez Canseco, who is also his
second Vice-President. The young entrepreneur is part of Belaunde's Acción Popular,
which only managed to win 4.2% of voters and three parliamentary seats. Diez Canseco
is a business partner of former Minister of Economy, Carlos Boloña.
With David Waisman as Minister of
Defence, Toledo for the first time in Peru's history put a civilian at the top
of the army. Waisman was President of the Parliamentary Commission of
Investigation which examined the corrupt actions of Vladimiro Montesinos as
well as the doubtful arms deals by Alberto Fujimori.
As Minister of Interior, Toledo
appointed the journalist Fernando Rospigliosi, who was one of the most
outspoken critics of Fujimori's regime. Like Toledo, Rospigliosi has no
During the electoral campaign, Toledo
promised, above all, more jobs to the Peruvian voters. At least, he intended
to create them mostly through the private sector. However, he not only
promised the moon to peasants, but almost anything to all economic sectors. On
his governmental agenda, Toledo has further privatizations in 2002, more
support for education and schools, a reduction of the large army of state
employees, a plan of decentralization, to improve respect for human rights, an
army without corruption, an independent and efficient system of justice and
police without corruption, a constitutional reform with the abolition of its
authoritarian traits introduced under Fujimori, the fight against drug dealers
and much more. Very soon it will become clear which promises Toledo will be
able to fulfill.