Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

Peru election highlights decline of Latin America's hard-core left

The rebranding of left-leaning populist Ollanta Humala ahead of today's Peru election shows the wide spectrum of leftism in today's Latin America and how the most radical fold has started to wane.

Image

Left-leaning populist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala, a former follower of Hugo Chávez, greets supporters outside a polling station, after casting his ballot in a presidential runoff election in Lima, Peru, Sunday.

Karel Navarro/AP

About these ads

The last time Ollanta Humala was close to capturing the presidency in Peru, cries of the "leftist tide" of Latin America were at a fever pitch.

Painted by his detractors as a lackey of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who was wielding influence with petrodollars spread far and wide, Mr. Humala ultimately lost the race to Alan Garcia.

Five years later, the choices once again could not be starker for Peruvians as they choose between left-leaning populist Humala and right-wing lawmaker Keiko Fujimori in today's presidential run-off.

But while the 2011 race is an extremely polarized one, it is not an ideological battle. In fact, Humala, once a fiery leftist promising to guard against any kind of "neoliberal" agenda, has refashioned himself as a moderate leftist, appealing to a Peru that has seen tremendous economic growth over the past decade. His rebranding shows the wide spectrum of leftism in today's Latin America and how the most radical fold has started to wane.

"Five years ago, [Humala] was a follower of Mr. Hugo Chávez. Now he sees that Chávez is a failure," says Augusto Alvarez Rodrich, a columnist for La Republica in Peru. Instead, he is looking to perhaps the most successful leftist in the region – former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. "He says he wants to follow the path that Mr. Lula forged."

Next

Page 1 of 4


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Share

Loading...