Ollanta Humala sworn in as Peru president


The Miami Herald

BOGOTA — For the last few weeks, Peru's Ollanta Humala has been hop-scotching the hemisphere making good on campaign promises to have a cordial relationship with any neighbor — regardless of ideology.

The tour has taken Humala, who was sworn in Thursday as Peru's president, from the capitalist bastions of Washington and Chile, to the socialist stalwarts of Venezuela and Cuba. Now, he will have to straddle the divides in his own country as he pledges to protect Peru's free-market economy while rolling out ambitious social programs.

So far, Humala — a former army officer with a center-left agenda — has disarmed his critics.

His decision to keep Julio Velarde as the president of the Central Bank and name Luís Miguel Castillo — a respected technocrat and the former second-in-command at the Ministry of Finance — to the top economy job, won applause from the private sector.

“He has surprised us, not only with his statements — that point to sound economic policies — but by naming people to his economic cabinet that are believers in the free market,” said César Peñaranda, the director of the Institute for Economy and Business Development.

But there will certainly be fights ahead, as Humala has vowed to raise the minimum wage, expand the country’s pension program and raise taxes on one of the nation’s primary economic engines: mining.

During the contentious campaign, Humala’s opponents demonized many of his proposals, accusing him of being willing to hock the nation’s wealth to emulate Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s social programs.

But any fears that Humala might move the country sharply left should be assuaged by his actions since he won the June 5 election, said Erasto Almeida, an analyst with the New York-based Eurasia Group.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category