Peru’s Humala Visits Brazil To Meet With Rousseff; Looks To Distance Himself From Chávez

June 10, 2011 7:30 am 0 comments

Peruvian President-Elect Ollanta Humala. Image courtesy of the Partido Nacionalista Peruano.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Peru’s president-elect Ollanta Humala made a visit to Brazil Thursday, where he met with President Dilma Rousseff, as part of his South American tour visiting several heads of state to foster regional unity.

During his visit, Humala praised Brazil’s economic success and said that he wanted to learn more about the country’s social welfare programs. The two leaders discussed Brazil’s public assistance and education programs, which have helped pull millions from poverty in recent years.

“Brazil is a successful model that combined economic growth and social mobility,” Humala said following his meeting with Rousseff.

Humala and Rousseff also discussed securing the two countries mutual borders in the Amazon in an effort to curb drug-trafficking.

By choosing Brazil as his first trip abroad as president-elect, Humala seems to be siding closer with the moderate leftist governments of the region and shying even more away from supporting more radical left-wing leaders like Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Humala lost his previous presidential run in 2006 to Alan García in part because he was seen as favoring the Venezuelan leader.

During this year’s election, Humala attempted to cast himself more in the mold of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, by championing ideas like social programs and stable fiscal and monetary policies helped make Brazil an emerging market favorite.

Some Peruvians and economists worry though that Humala might use the country’s large amounts of mineral wealth -copper, silver, zinc and gold- to shift the country toward a less-democratic and more socialist oriented economy like Venezuela has with its vast oil supplies.

“We hope he will follow not the Chávez path but the one set by moderate Latin American leftists such as former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was able to lift millions of Brazilians out of poverty by supporting business while increasing social spending,” wrote the editors of Bloomberg, adding that the world will get its first glimpse of Humala’s policies when he names his economic team.

If his current trip is any indication of which path Humala will take it appears that he is moving more toward the Brazilian model. He meets Friday with Lula and Venezuela is not on the list of stops for his trip, which does include Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

  • Jailed U.S. contractor Alan Gross, serving a 15-year sentence for crimes against the Cuban state, is in good spirits, but is anxious to go home, a member of a U.S. delegation said after visiting him on Thursday.
  • Activists are demanding that a series of killings of gays, lesbians and transgenders in Puerto Rico be treated as possible hate crimes, saying there is an alarming rate of violence against these groups on the U.S. island.

Central America

Andes

Southern Cone

  • Three major airlines cancelled flights out of Buenos Aires due to the lingering ash cloud caused by Sunday’s volcanic eruption in neighboring Chile, where more than 4,000 people have fled their homes.
  • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s liaison with Congress, Luiz Sergio, is expected to resign on Friday, becoming the second Cabinet member to step down in a week.
  • International Olympic Committee officials concluded a three-day visit to Brazil, reporting that the country is making “remarkable” progress for the 2016 Olympic Games after criticism for a slow start and concerns about the displacement of Rio’s poorer residents.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Argentina North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Argentina Passes a Controversial Bill to Attract Oil Investment

    Argentina Passes a Controversial Bill to Attract Oil Investment

    Top Story — Looking to take advantage of its vast and mostly untapped shale oil and gas deposits, Argentina’s Congress has passed a controversial bill that will make it easier for foreign capital to invest in the country’s energy sector. The bill, which had already passed through Argentina’s Senate, drastically lowers the minimum investment needed for companies to avoid import controls and foreign exchange regulations — a serious boon to potential investors. It now moves on to President Cristina Fernández […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Top Story – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto  met for the first time with family members of the 43 missing students from Guerrero state on Wednesday in Mexico City. Before the meeting, family members said they were prepared to voice their “indignation” over the country’s fruitless search for their missing loved ones and to demand the president do more. Since the 43 students went missing after being attacked by police on Sept. 26, the search for them has been marked […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Top Story — The search continues for Mexico’s 43 missing students in Guerrero state as authorities have not been able to confirm that new mass graves contain the students’ remains. Sunday marked one month since the students from the rural Ayotzinapa Normal School went missing after being arrested in the town of Iguala after commandeering several busses to use them in a protest. According to Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, local police turned the students over to members of […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Colombia Dispatches United States Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    NEW YORK CITY — Diana Gómez and Shaira Rivera, two young women from Colombia, visited several U.S. universities this month to raise awareness about Colombia’s current peace negotiations to end decades of armed conflict. Both their fathers were killed in the war. Their fathers, congressional aide Jaime Gómez and union worker Guillermo Rivera, were killed in Colombia in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Although their cases have not been resolved in court, the young Gómez and Rivera accuse Colombian state forces […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Top Story — Cuba’s government has sanctioned the construction of the first Catholic church to be built in the country in 55 years, the latest development in a continued trend of growing acceptance of religion on the island. The church, to be funded by members of the U.S.-based exile community in Tampa, Florida, will be constructed in Sandino, a town located in the province of Piñar del Rio on the island’s western coast. The church’s construction indicates a growing connection […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Top Story — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won her re-election bid in the closest race in the country’s history, taking just over 51 percent of the vote to beat her opponent Aécio Neves. The tight victory marks the end of a campaign cycle that stunned observers for the atypically vicious attacks from both sides. Rousseff, of the left-populist Workers’ Party, opened her victory speech by saluting fellow party member and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose two-term tenure […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

    Read more →
  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

    Read more →