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June 2011, Week 1

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Mon, 6 Jun 2011 02:29:40 -0400
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Humala's Win in Peru Consolidates Gains for Left, More
Independent and Democratic South America, CEPR Co-Director
Says
Center for Economic and Policy Research
June 5, 2011
http://www.cepr.net

For Immediate Release:

Washington, D.C. - Ollanta Humala's apparent
presidential electoral victory in Peru represents a
consolidation of the gains made by left-leaning leaders
in South America over the past decade, Center for
Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark
Weisbrot said today.

"Democracy, national and regional independence, and
economic and social progress have gone hand-in-hand with
South America's leftward political shift over the past
decade," said Weisbrot. "This election continues these
trends, for sure."

As of late Sunday night, quick counts from two firms,
Ipsos- Apoyo and Datum Internacional, had Humala ahead
with over 51 percent of the vote, compared to less than
49 percent for his opponent, Keiko Fujimori, the
daughter of Peru's former authoritarian president
Alberto Fujimori. Exit polls showed Humala ahead by over
five points.

News of Humala's victory was welcomed by well-known
politicians from across the political spectrum. Author
and politician Mario Vargas Llosa, a well-known
conservative, said that Humala's win "saved democracy,"
while former president Alejandro Toledo said, "It's the
hour of reconciliation. The people have won, democracy
has won, the memory of the people won. The people have
opted for economic growth with social inclusion."

Although official Washington - outside of spokespersons
for the far right - did not express a preference, it
appears that the Obama administration favored Fujimori.

"This election result also represents another setback
for the U.S. government's strategy of `containment and
roll- back' in the region," said Weisbrot.

Weisbrot also noted that Peru's traditional elite lost
this election because the previous two governments had
failed to take the kinds of initiatives that other left
governments in the region had done, despite record
economic growth.

"Peru's growth did reduce poverty significantly," said
Weisbrot. "But the government didn't deliver the kinds
of gains that were seen in other countries in health
care, education, minimum wages, public pensions, or
social spending, as happened in Ecuador, Bolivia,
Brazil, and Venezuela."

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