South America is about to shift further to the left than ever before
When Guillermo Lasso, a former banker and finance minister who advocates shrinking the state and cutting taxes, defeated socialist Andrés Arauz by a narrow margin in Ecuador last month (after the Left won the legislature in convincing fashion), it appeared that the Left in Latin America was still too weak to challenge the neoliberals, outside of Venezuela and Bolivia.
But then Peru happened.
Peruvian far-left candidate Pedro Castillo is set to win the Andean country’s first-round presidential election, though he will face a run-off vote in June with an electorate fragmented after a year of political and economic crisis.
The top two candidates will advance to a second round in June.
Free marketeer Fujimori is a deeply divisive figure whose father, a former President, was jailed for human rights abuses. She herself has spent time on remand over claims that she received $1.2m from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which she denies.
All former Peruvian presidents who governed since 1985 have been ensnared in corruption allegation, some imprisoned or arrested in their mansions. One, Alan Garcia, died by suicide before police could arrest him over graft allegations related to Odebrecht in 2019.
Castillo, the only real leftist that was running, was never supposed to finish so high. It was a real shocker. According to recent polls, Castillo holds a strong 9-point lead in the run-off.
The Castillo v. Fujimori is a classic class battle.
Socialist Castillo's support is strongest in the poorest regions of Peru, and ranges between 46% and 60%, the poll showed, while Fujimori polls strongest in the richest, but less populous, areas of the country.
Peru could be the start of a major shift in politics in Latin America.
Let's start with next year's election in Brazil.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would defeat President Jair Bolsonaro by 18 percent in a possible second round in the 2022 elections, a poll revealed.
18% is a crushing victory.
However, the real shocker is how things are shaking out in Colombia.
The latest poll did not just confirm others that put opposition Senator Gustavo Petro in the lead of the 2022 election race, but indicated that the former member of the M-19 rebel group may be unbeatable.
According to pollster Invamer, the progressive candidate has taken such a lead that if elections were held tomorrow, no candidate would stand a chance against Petro.
...Petro’s lead over candidates associated with former President Alvaro Uribe, the alleged mafia boss of President Ivan Duque, has completely marginalized the candidates of the corruption-ridden government coalition.
Colombia has always been reliably right-wing since the ice-age. So this would be a huge upset.
Another huge upset could happen in Chile, where communist Daniel Jadue is leading in the polls for November's election.
Before you get excited, Jadue is slightly behind in head-to-head polls.