Peru: Ollanta Humala’s new PR face

Simon Romero writes about Peru’s election,
A Candidate in Peru Tacks Toward Brazil’s Course

LIMA, Peru — In his failed 2006 bid for Peru’s presidency, Ollanta Humala donned red T-shirts, boasted of plans to assert state control over energy resources and blasted opponents for warming to the United States, using elements from the playbook that was then helping propel leftist political allies of Venezuela to electoral victories in Latin America.

But in a transformation this year that points to the eclipse of Venezuela by Brazil, Mr. Humala has swapped the red shirts for dark suits, explicitly rejected talk of seizing private companies and celebrated Brazil’s market-oriented economic model, while distancing himself from Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez.

Mr. Humala, 48, made the shift after hiring Brazilian campaign advisers tied to Brazil’s governing Workers Party.

However, as Jaime Bayly remembered in 2006, Humala was a military adjunct representing the Toledo government after serving under Fujimori.

Keiko Fijimori, on the other hand, had publicly opposed her father’s illegal re-election and requested that his right-hand man Montesinos be expelled.

A small glimpse of an interesting election that will resonate through the region.

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