Woot! Pedro Castillo Has Won the Peruvian Presidential Election

From sputnikews.com, July 19, 2021 (h/t Mr. wd)

‘Peru's Election Jury Names Castillo Winner of Presidential Vote, Fujimori Calls Loss 'Illegitimate'’

“On Monday evening, Peru's National Jury of Elections (JNE) formally named Pedro Castillo, a socialist from the Peru Libre party, the winner of the June 6 election.

Following his victory, Castillo posted a statement on Twitter thanking the Peruvian people for his victory.

"Thank you Peruvian people for this historic triumph! The time has come to call on all sectors of society to build together, in this Bicentennial, an inclusive Peru, a just Peru, a Free Peru. Without discrimination and for the rights and all," he said. "We call on the Afro, coastal, Andean and Amazonian peoples, the working class and their unions, the native and peasant communities and all of society to make this homeland beautiful. Today, sisters and brothers, a new stage in our history begins."

Castillo is a union organizer, schoolteacher, and farmer, who has called for using the country's resources to better the lives of poorer Peruvians, including the indigenous population often left out of policy decisions made in Lima, on the coast.​

Fujimori Calls for 'Defense of Democracy'

Earlier on Monday, eight-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori admitted to defeat after more than a month of contesting the June 6 presidential election. In a television address, she said she said she "will recognize the results because it is what the law and the Constitution that I have sworn to uphold."

‘The JNE said on Twitter on Monday afternoon that it had dismissed five appeals by Fujimori's Fuerza Popular party and the body would "proceed to the preparation of the act of proclamation of general results."

From minpressnews.com, June 8, 2021, 'Rural Teacher Pedro Castillo Poised to Write a New Chapter in Peru’s History; In a cliffhanger of an election with a huge urban-rural and class divide, it appears that the rural teacher, farmer and union leader is about to make history by defeating–by less than one percent–powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori’, Medea Benjamin and Leonardo Flores  (creative commons)

“Fujimori is challenging the election’s results, alleging widespread fraud. Her campaign has only presented evidence of isolated irregularities, and so far there is nothing to suggest a tainted vote. However, she can challenge some of the votes to delay the final results, and much like in the U.S., even an allegation of fraud by the losing candidate will cause uncertainty and raise tensions in the country.

Castillo’s victory will be remarkable not only because he is a leftist teacher who is the son of illiterate peasants and his campaign was grossly outspent by Fujimori, but there was a relentless propaganda attack against him that touched on historical fears of Peru’s middle class and elites. It was similar to what happened recently to progressive candidate Andrés Arauz who narrowly lost Ecuador’s elections, but even more intense. Grupo El Comercio, a media conglomerate that controls 80% of Peru’s newspapers, led the charge against Castillo.

They accused him of being a terrorist with links to the Shining Path, a guerrilla group whose conflict with the state between 1980 and 2002 led to tens of thousands of deaths and left the population traumatized. Castillo’s link to the Shining Path link is flimsy: While a leader with Sutep, an education worker’s union, Castillo is said to have been friendly with Movadef, the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights, a group alleged to have been the political wing of the Shining Path. In reality, Castillo himself was a rondero when the insurgency was most active. Ronderos were peasant self-defense groups that protected their communities from the guerrillas and continue to provide security against crime and violence.

Two weeks before the elections, on May 23, 18 people were massacred in the rural Peruvian town of San Miguel del Ene. The government immediately attributed the attack to the remnants of the Shining Path involved in drug trafficking, although no group has taken responsibility yet. The media linked the attack to Castillo and his campaign, whipping up fear of more violence should he win the presidency. Castillo denounced the attack and reminded Peruvians that similar massacres had occurred in the run-up to the 2011 and 2016 elections. For her part, Fujimori suggested Castillo was linked to the killing.

On the economic front, Castillo has been accused of being a communist who wants to nationalize key industries, and would turn Peru into a “cruel dictatorship” like Venezuela. Billboards along Lima’s main highway asked the population: “Would you like to live in Cuba or Venezuela?” referring to a Castillo win. As seen in the photos above, newspapers linked Castillo’s campaign to the devaluation of the Peruvian currency and warned that a Castillo victory would hurt low-income Peruvians the most because businesses would shutter or move overseas. Time and time again, the Castillo campaign has clarified that he is not a communist and that his aim is not to nationalize industries but to renegotiate contracts with multinationals so that more of the profits stay with the local communities.

Meanwhile, Fujimori was treated with kid gloves by the media during the campaign, with one of the newspapers in the above pictures claiming that “Keiko guarantees work, food, health and an immediate reactivation of the economy.” Her past as a first lady during her father Alberto Fujimori’s brutal rule is largely ignored by corporate media. She is able to claim that “fujimorismo defeated terrorism” without being challenged on the horrors that fujimorismo inflicted on the country, including the forced sterilization of over 270,000 women and 22,000 men for which her father is on trial. He is currently in jail over other human rights abuses and corruption, though Keiko promised to free him if she won. Also ignored was the fact that Keiko herself is out on bail as of last year, pending a money-laundering investigation, and without presidential immunity, she will probably end up in prison.

The international media was no different in its unbalanced coverage of Castillo and Fujimori, with Bloomberg warning that “elites tremble” at the thought of Castillo as president and The Financial Times headline screaming “Peru’s elite in panic at prospect of hard-left victory in presidential election.”

As I remember it, Castillo had run on a platform to nationalize many industries, including copper and other mineral mining, but was later reported to moderating that in order to ‘calm the markets’.  Who can say?

Sorry but I’ve lost track; had I included these items?

Seven Weeks of Disputing the Vote

​Earlier in the presidential race, Fujimori had taunted Castillo and his party, Peru Libre, for raising allegations of fraud. However, once the ballot count in the second round of elections on June 6 began to turn against her, Fujimori began attributing the changing winds to fraud, despite not having evidence of fraud. She sought the discarding of hundreds of thousands of ballots, which had the potential to reverse the result, since Castillo was 44,000 votes ahead.

International observers reported no evidence of fraud, either, even those like the Organization of American States that in the past have readily resorted to such accusations in order to run interference against socialist or left-wing candidates winning elections.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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I was struck by Fujimori's "illegitimate" bullshit. "illegitimate" was Bibi's favorite attack strategy.

This is especially noteworthy because in Hebrew the word for "the law" is halacha. Which translates to "the going." The Process, in American terms.

The law is a changeable thing according to circumstance, in the hebrew language, but Bibi sought to draw fascist lines where he needed them to be.

This area---language reveals a culture----fascinates me. Many Americans are familiar with the fact that the Inuit have dozens of words for snow. We have only the one. With modifiers. light snow, heavy snow, wet snow

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wendy davis's picture


it's been a campaign full of deceit, violence against castillo supporters (RT.com), and utter skullduggery.

i know we all hope the best for him and his administration. telesur english had reported a few weeks ago that fujimori would continue to be able to lodge fraud challenges until today, which would cause a constitutional crisis (according to their law), and create an internal civil war.

thanks for the translattions; did you go to hebrew school?

i'll add that the navajo (dineh) have words for several kinds of rain, among them Female (slow, light, and gentle to prepare the earth to receive it) and Male (gully-washers). ; )

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@humphrey Bravo!

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wendy davis's picture


and yes, it's related. the popular resistance newsletter often has columns concerning ortega, and before he'd crossed to the other side not long ago, kevin zeese (may he RIPower) and margaret flowers had traveled to nicaraugua in order to act a fair witnesses.

how handy of them! here is their oeuvre on nigaragua, bless their hearts/

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zed2's picture

Peru is such an interesting country to me because of its Inca roots.

I have always wanted to go there.I love their music and their coffee beans..

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wendy davis's picture


O, for a working memory, but it ma have been on an earlier diary concerning the long saga of this election that Ozone Tom and i got into a discussion about peruvian flutes. i cana spot the one youtube i'd brought, but here's a two-fer: pan flute music and machu picchu.

i inherited a peruvian finely-spun cotton shawl in black and rust....that's so soft it feels like silk. for complicated reasons, it's become my bed cover at night. ha; i've been making some new perfumes, and last night spritzed some cilantro, sweetgrass, and lemon on it.

chores calling, and my yes already need a rest.

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Communist party candidate Daniel Jadue lost in his party's primary against what all of the polls were showing. However, this might not be all bad.

Presidential primaries on Sunday for Chile's left- and right-leaning coalitions upended predictions, leaving leftist former student leader Gabriel Boric and center-right upstart Sebastian Sichel as major contenders in November's general election.

On the left, underdog Boric, 35, a lawmaker with more moderate views who hails from the Patagonia region of far-southern Chile, garnered 60% of the vote in the primary, soundly defeating Communist party contender and Santiago-region Mayor Daniel Jadue.
A constitutional convention also dominated by independents is entering the home stretch in rewriting the country's dictatorship-era constitution.

The May vote for delegates to rewrite the constitution likewise bucked expectations, with a majority of seats going to independent candidates largely from the left, many from coalitions of social groups that emerged out of protests over inequality that exploded in 2019.

Boric may not be as far left as Jadue, but he might be a stronger candidate. He certainly says the right things.

Boric took more than 1m votes in Sunday’s primary, scoring a decisive victory over the Communist party candidate Daniel Jadue, and vowed to lead the assault on Chile’s Pinochet-era economic model.

“Something beautiful and exciting is happening here, friends,” he declared on a small stage outside his campaign headquarters in the capital, Santiago.

“We come from social movements [and] were shaped politically by the struggles which have been building throughout history … If Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave!” he proclaimed, fist raised into the night sky.

One thing that has been consistent in Chile over the last two years is that the voters in Chile are defying the mainstream media, politicians, and all expectations.

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wendy davis's picture


chilean elections, but the guardian sure does love boric. so does bloomberg news, lol:

"Chilean assets bucked a global sell-off after a communist presidential hopeful unexpectedly lost a primary vote before the country’s November election, making room for a more moderate candidate to move forward.

One-time student protest leader Gabriel Boric won the far-left vote with 60.4% of support, beating Communist Party candidate Daniel Jadue, a front-runner who had spooked financial markets with calls for radical economic reform.

the rest is behind a paywall for me.

dunno what Communist means in some areas, nor what radical economic reform means, but i confess i like the sound of it. ♫ ♫ ♫ would a majority of chilean voters have? we'll never know. ; )

thanks for the 411, gjohnsit.

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@wendy davis
Then he'll be a vast improvement.
I honestly had reservations about Jadue. Not for his ideas, but because you knew that the moderates and liberals would never vote for someone that called themselves a communist.
It would do no good to nominate someone that'll lose in November.

I don't know much about Boric, and I don't trust him, but I'd give him a chance.

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wendy davis's picture


coming from, but from where i sit in the cheap seats, i'd offer that people under chicago boys, milton friedman, et.al. economics, might be looking for extreme relief from such oppression and devastation. i'll note that i have no idea how class lines are divided in chile, of course.

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cartel(s) does have its limits as to which loser rightwing candidates it will pull out all the stops for. Fujimori is just too awful for the truly awful regime changers.

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wendy davis's picture

amiga. sounds about right to #MeToo.

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