Mario Vargas Llosa Throws Support Behind Ollanta Humala In Peru’s Runoff Election

April 25, 2011 9:12 pm 1 comment

Peruvian novelist and conservative pundit Mario Vargas Llosa.

Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, a political conservative famous for his criticism of Latin America’s far left, discarded the possibility of voting for rightwing candidate Keiko Fujimori in Peru’s runoff presidential election, saying that supporting her would amount to justifying the dictatorial government of her father Alberto.

“I don’t have any doubt that electing Keiko Fujimori as president would be the worst mistake that Peruvians could make,” Vargas Llosa wrote in a widely circulated opinion piece Sunday. “It would amount to legitimating the worst dictatorship we’ve suffered during our history as a republic.”

Alberto Fujimori remains a controversial figure in Peru. Running as a political outsider and polling in the single digits, he came from behind to defeat Vargas Llosa in the 1990 presidential election.

In 1992, with the support of the Peruvian military, Fujimori dissolved Congress and the courts, and concentrated power in the executive. Fujimori justified his illegal seizure of power by arguing he needed exceptional authority to combat a leftwing insurgency led by the Shining Path.

Fujimori won reelection in 1995 with an overwhelming majority, resulting largely from his wins against the rebels and his success controlling hyperinflation. But he fled to Japan in 2000, after a bribery scandal involving his former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos disgraced him.

Fujimori is currently in a Peruvian jail, serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted of ordering death squads to kill 25 people during his presidency. Many suspect that his daughter plans to pardon him if elected, though she says she will not.

The first major poll since the first-round election on April 10 favors Ollanta Humala with 42 percent of the vote, versus 36 percent for Keiko Fujimori. Some 22 percent of those surveyed by Iposos Apoyo said they either did not know who they would vote for or that they would spoil their ballot.

Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Obama Signs Bill Authorizing Sanctions Against Venezuelan Officials

    Obama Signs Bill Authorizing Sanctions Against Venezuelan Officials

    The Latin America News Dispatch will take a short break from publishing our daily newsletter Today in Latin America to celebrate the holidays. Felices Fiestas from the Latin America News Dispatch staff. Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a law placing sanctions on “persons responsible for violations of human rights in Venezuela,” the White House press secretary said in a statement. The sanctions bill will freeze the U.S. assets of, and strip visas from, officials responsible […]

    Read more →
  • Cuba Dispatches North America United States Cuba ‘Not Open For Business’ Just Yet

    Cuba ‘Not Open For Business’ Just Yet

    The United States and Cuba may be normalizing relations, but don’t expect a major trade boom for now. While the changes announced by President Obama will widen the types of financial transactions allowed between the two countries and permit more forms of trade and travel, a broadly restrictive embargo on trade with Cuba remains in place, and firmly under the control of the U.S. Congress. As U.S. diplomats prepare to set up an embassy in Havana for the first time […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba North America Today in Latin America Latin America Lauds U.S., Cuba Breakthrough

    Latin America Lauds U.S., Cuba Breakthrough

    Top Story — World leaders have almost universally praised the U.S. and Cuban governments for their announcement Wednesday that they would normalize diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. Reaction among U.S. lawmakers, however, was more mixed. Latin American leaders across the ideological spectrum lauded the decision that will have sweeping impacts across the region. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos praised “the courage and the audacity of President Barack Obama and the Cuban government,” and Mexican President Enrique Peña […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs North America United Nations United States Transcript: Obama’s Cuba Speech

    Transcript: Obama’s Cuba Speech

    Below is a full transcript of President Obama’s speech on Cuba. A video of the speech can be found following the transcript. OBAMA: Good afternoon. Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs North America United States U.S., Cuba to Restore Diplomatic Ties, But Embargo Remains

    U.S., Cuba to Restore Diplomatic Ties, But Embargo Remains

    The U.S. and Cuba will work to normalize diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, President Obama said Wednesday, a major shift in policy that nonetheless falls short of the outright removal of the U.S. economic blockade on the island. The announcement comes after Cuba’s release of American aid contractor Alan Gross from prison, in exchange for the release of three Cubans jailed in the state of Florida for espionage — a sign of good faith between the two […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Charges Filed Against Brazilian Lawmaker After Rape Remarks

    Charges Filed Against Brazilian Lawmaker After Rape Remarks

    Top Story — Brazil’s attorney general filed charges of incitement to rape against Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro after he made violent comments to a fellow lawmaker in Congress last Tuesday, saying, “I wouldn’t rape you. You’re not worth it.” It is the second time Bolsonaro, a right-wing representative from Rio de Janeiro state known for misogynist remarks, has used the word inappropriately in Congress. Bolsonaro’s comments were directed at Maria do Rosário, a former secretary of human rights, as she […]

    Read more →
  • Central America Dispatches Honduras Alternatives to Detention Leave Some Honduran Immigrants in “Shackles”

    Alternatives to Detention Leave Some Honduran Immigrants in “Shackles”

    NEW YORK — On an average weekday Eva, a 39-year-old woman from Honduras, never leaves a 15-block radius in the Bronx. From bringing her two children to school, to taking English classes, visiting her church and running errands, her life is mapped on a now-familiar route — one that is precisely tracked by the electronic monitoring device strapped to her ankle. Eva, who asked to have her name changed because she is currently going through deportation hearings, received the device […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti Today in Latin America Haitian Prime Minister Defends Record After Resignation

    Haitian Prime Minister Defends Record After Resignation

    Top Story — Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe spoke out on Monday, defending his legacy after an independent commission set up by President Michel Martelly pressured him to resign over the weekend. Several other ministers also stepped down amid a political standoff that has been years in the making. Lamothe’s resignation comes in the wake of continued anti-government protests demanding elections that have been delayed since 2011. On Friday, U.N. peacekeepers were seen firing at a crowd of protesters while […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Federal Police Implicated in Student Killings

    Mexican Federal Police Implicated in Student Killings

    Top Story — Federal authorities in Mexico appear to have participated in the September attack on a group of teacher trainees in the state of Guerrero, contrary to prior government claims, according to an investigation released Saturday by Proceso magazine. Proceso’s investigation reportedly uncovered state documents that show federal police officers knew the attack was ongoing and even shot at the students as they travelled on several buses toward a protest event in Iguala, Guerrero. After that attack, 43 of […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs Cuban Laws May Have Changed, But the Jokes Haven’t

    Cuban Laws May Have Changed, But the Jokes Haven’t

    In 2010, I found myself among hundreds of heeled and hairsprayed Cubans in Havana’s Teatro Karl Marx waiting for the start of the Premios Lucas — a sort of MTV Video Music Awards of Cuba. Hosted by beloved comedian Luis Silva and with performances by pop, rock and reggaeton groups, “Los Lucas” was sure to be a revelatory peek into the popular culture consumption of my Cuban peers. Los Lucas did not disappoint. Every moment of the two-hour show was […]

    Read more →