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Peru: All About Alan García

The topics discussed by Peruvian bloggers vary from day to day, but a reoccurring theme almost certainly has to do with President Alan García. The following are some of the issues on the minds of the Peruvian blogosphere that have to do with García.

Silvio Rendón of Gran Combo Club [es] discusses a few recent articles published by García, where he writes about Daniel Carbonetto, who was one of his chief economic advisors during García's first term:

La incursión de Alan García en la actividad periodística (artículo 1 y artículo 2) ha despertado una serie de reacciones … Lo que ha escrito García está en tono acusador, con lo cual lo que pueda haber allí de elaboración queda en segundo plano. García es un regañador nato. Cuando habla siempre parece que estuviera dándole una reprimenda a alguien. En mi opinión, es una indicación de que está en problemas. Quien va avanzando, así sea lentamente, no está para dedicarse a acusaciones subalternas. Sin embargo, hay otra forma de leer entre líneas, y esta es una total especulación. Y es que García no ha escrito el artículo o al menos no lo ha escrito solo. Tendría un “grupo de apoyo” que le haría el trabajo intelectual. Aparte de las reprimendas, García no es reconocible en el texto que lleva su firma, ni son temas de los cuales García haya venido hablando. …

Alan Garcia's foray into journalistic activity (article 1, article 2) has caused a series of reactions … Garcia wrote in an accusatory tone, and he did not elaborate. Garcia is fierce. Whenever he talks it sounds like he is reprimanding someone. In my opinion, it is an indication that he has problems, maybe he is advancing slowly, but he is not in his position to make accusations. One can also read between the lines and this is total speculation: maybe García did not write the article or at least he did not write it all by himself. He may have a “support group” that helps with his intellectual work. Beside the reprimands, it is hard to recognize García in the words that he wrote, nor are they topics in which García regularly comments upon…

José Talavera of Blogiarquia [es] also writes about the president and his disconcerting declarations. He cites an excerpt from one of García's articles:

Cada uno de nosotros sufre algo de lo que he llamado “síndrome del perro del hortelano”. Muchas veces el Estado, las instituciones y las personas padecen de “patrimonialismo”. Es decir, de la voluntad de no ceder ningún espacio y reservar para sí, para el ministerio o para la empresa, todas las funciones, los trámites y las decisiones. Ocurre también cuando un grupo que captura el poder, una región o un municipio, decide gobernar solo y bloquea el aporte técnico y profesional de muchos otros ciudadanos. En este caso, el perro del hortelano dice: “Si no lo hago yo, nadie debe hacerlo”, y concluye: “Solo puede hacerlo la gente de mi propio equipo”.

Each one of us suffers from “farmer's dog syndrome.” Often the State, the institutions, and people fall into “patrimonialism.” This means that there is no room to allow ministries or businesses to make decisions or complete paperwork. This happens when a group comes into power, a region or municipality decides to govern along and blocks the technical and professional contributions from other citizens. In this case, the “farmer's dog” says: “If I don't do it, then no one should,” and concludes, “only those from my own team should do it.”

Talavera responds:

Mi primera pregunta es, ¿en ese todos se incluirá el mismo presidente?… Y creo que la pregunta es además necesaria por la actitud que viene tomando García en el manejo del poder de su actual gestión. No seamos mezquinos y reconozcamos que no lo está haciendo mal, o tan mal en comparación con su gobierno anterior, pero hay cosas (en él mismo) que denotan esa actitud patrimonial que él critica…… pero nuevamente García no toca el tema educación, desarrollo, innovación, conocimiento, que toqué la semana pasada.

My first question is: does the president include himself in that group? This is a necessary question because of the attitude taken by García during his current term. We must recognize that he is not doing so bad or as bad as the previous government, but there are things (with him in particularly) that demonstrates this patrimonial attitude that he himself criticizes….but once again, García does not talk about education, development, innovation, or knowledge, which are things that he talked about last week.”

Juan Sheput of Mate Pastor [es] writes about the latest CPI Survey from November 2007, which asked about the president's approval rating:

Según la última encuesta nacional de CPI difundida por el diario Correo y RPP el señor Alan García tendría sólo un 28,8% de popularidad. En el oriente la popularidad ya es de un dígito: 8,3% con tendencia aún a la baja y en la costa sur el índice es de 16% a pesar de los disfuerzos del amigo presidencial el señor Hernán Garrido Lecca. La popularidad de Alan García es la más baja del continente. Sin oposición, con mucho dinero, con medios de comunicación mayoritariamente “comprensivos”, es decir teniendo todo a su favor, el gobierno de García brilla por su incompetencia.

According to the latest national survey from CPI published by the newspaper Correo and RPP, Mr. Alan García only receives 28.8% approval rating. In the east, his popularity is already in the single digits: with 8.3% and dropping and in the southern coast, he is at 16% even with the efforts from the presidential friend Hernán Garrido Lecca. The popularity of Alan García is the lowest in the entire continent. Without opposition, with a lot of money, with the media primarily “understanding,” it seems that he has everything in his favor. The government of García shines for its incompetence.

Finally, from the blog Menoscanas [es] Laura Arroyo writes about possible changes in the law that may benefit Alberto Fujimori:

Puede ser por conveniencia, complicidad o sincera cercanía; el punto es que el mandatario parece haber optado por obedecer a los intereses del grupo fujimorista que, desde hace buen tiempo, ha evidenciado tener un único interés: salvar el cuello de su líder. Ahora bien, me queda claro que esta cercanía no es nueva, ni se inicia con la llegada de Alberto Fujimori, sino mucho antes, desde que en la campaña electoral Alan García presentó una plancha presidencial que incluyera como primer vicepresidente a Luis Giampietri. Sin embargo, lo vergonzoso es la explicitación que, de pronto, ya no le preocupa al mismísimo Presidente García quien, sin asco, ha decidido impulsar una ley que “acelere los procesos judiciales orales” justo ahora que estamos ad portas del juicio de Alberto Fujimori. Con dicha ley, el ex mandatario podría optar por no enfrentar personalmente a quien fuera su asesor Vladimiro Montesinos.

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It may be due to convenience, complexity, or sincerity; but it appears that the president has opted for obeying the interests of the Fujimorist group that has, for a while now, shown that its only interest is to save its leader's neck. Now, it is very clear to me that drawing closer is nothing new, and it does not begin with the arrival of Alberto Fujimori, but a lot earlier, ever since the electoral campaign of Alan García, when he presented Luis Giampietri as first Vice-President. Nevertheless, it is shameful that President García has pushed for a law that “accelerates the oral legal processes,” right when the trial for Alberto Fujimori was set to begin. With this law, the ex-president could opt to personally not face this former advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos.

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