See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Peru: The First 100 Days of Ollanta Humala's Government

Saturday November 5, 2011, marked the first hundred days of the government of Ollanta Humala. Beyond his accomplishments and mistakes, that can be easily spotted, the comparison to be made is the change in presidential style, from a president like Alan García – fully media-oriented and with an almost permanent presence on newspapers and television – to Ollanta Humana who's hardly prone to declare anything on the media.

Several outlets have aired special reports of these first hundred days. The newspaper El Comercio has published several pieces [es] on the matter, ranging from an infographic [es] showing the highs and lows to a small analysis [es] of the behavior of the closest circle to the presidency.

The journal La Republica also has articles in their special edition [es] that analyze [es] the transformation of Ollanta Humala in the past 100 days and features an interview [es] with political analyst Nelson Manrique, where he asks himself what happened to all the people that said they'd leave the country if Humala won.

President Ollanta Humala in the traditional clothing of the people of Calacoa. Image by Flickr user Presidencia Peru, under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence.

President Ollanta Humala in the traditional clothing of the people of Calacoa. Image by Flickr user Presidencia Peru, under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence.

On Twitter, the hashtag #100diashumala was created, and even though the issue hasn't raised much enthusiasm on blogs, other than republishing articles and opinion columns of traditional media, some interesting posts can be found. On the blog La Escena Contemporanea (Contemporary Scene), blogger, Eduardo Jimenez, points out one of the most relevant developments of the electoral campaign when he tries to [es] sum up what's happened:

Para la evaluación se puede tomar como parámetros de referencia lo que prometió en campaña o lo declarado en el plan de gobierno, a fin de contrastar lo dicho con lo que está haciendo, lo que falta por hacer o los necesarios cambios en el camino. El primer inconveniente es qué plan de gobierno contrastamos, si “la gran trasformación”, furibundamente estatista, o la más flexible “hoja de ruta”, aparecida cuando el candidato Humala pasa a la segunda vuelta. Evidentemente que es la hoja de ruta el instrumento eje que delimita actualmente la política del gobierno.

For the evaluation anyone can take as reference parameters everything which was promised on the campaign or declared as the government plan so we can contrast what was said to what is being done, what is missing, and the necessary shifts to be made. The first drawback is which government plan we should contrast, if “the great transformation”, fiercely statist, or the more flexible “route sheet”, axis instrument that sets the tone of the current government policies.

Journalist Jaime del Castillo doesn't hide his disappointment on the politics shown by the government and expressed [es] his views on his blog:

Consideramos que el presente gobierno de turno encaja exactamente en lo que negó y rechazó y recusó el pueblo mayoritariamente electoral el 05 de junio: Continuismo

¿Es o no es continuismo (y de la peor laya) habernos estafado con tanto avivato e impresentable y delincuente y deshonesto y un largo etcétera en negativo y en hediondo en cuanto a Parlamentarios de ‘Gana Perú’?, ¿’Honestidad para el Gran Cambio’? …

¿Es o no es continuismo: Dejar hacer y dejar pasar al más puro estilo liberal de todos los siglos con respecto a Grupos de poder económico-financiero que dominan al Perúhace décadas: Mineras, Telefónica del Perú, etc., etc.?

¿Es o no es continuismo: Que la PRENSA GRANDE haga lo que se le dé la gana embruteciendo al pueblo peruano y marcando su agenda comercial, política y económica antes que el interés público o de las grandes mayorías que pidieron y exigieron CAMBIO el 05 de junio del 2011?

We consider that the current government is doing exactly what it denied and rejected and challenged the people who voted as a majority on June 5th: Continuity.

Is it or is it not continuity (and of the worse sort) being cheated with lively discourses; unpresentable, criminal and dishonest and a long list of negative and stinky etceteras regarding ‘Gana Peru’ congressmen? Honesty for the Big Change?

Is it or is it not continuity to let do and let pass, at the purest liberal style of all centuries, all the economic-financial power groups that dominate Peru since decades ago: mining companies, Telefonica Peru, etc., etc.?

Is it or is it not continuity that BIG MEDIA does what it wants numbing the entire Peruvian people and sticking with their commercial, political and economic agenda putting it before the public interest or that of the great majorities who voted and demanded a CHANGE on June 5, 2011?

On the other hand, in the blog Societas Consultora (Consulting Society), Gerardo Castillo Guzman marked [es] some points of his own political balance about the economic-political issue, highlighting three measures:

Primero, el logro de un aumento sustancial de la contribución de las empresas mineras a través de un acuerdo de consenso que permite no romper los marcos legales de estabilidad tributaria y límites de competitividad, sobre todo en comparación con nuestro vecino Chile. Aunque algunos sectores de la izquierda cuestionan el monto y la forma, el ingreso de recursos directos para el gobierno central para emprender proyectos mayores de infraestructura –importantes no solo para cerrar las brechas del país sino también para incentivar la economía en momentos de crisis— es importante.

Segundo, aunque con muchas más complicaciones, se han avanzado en las negociaciones para dedicar de manera exclusiva las reservas de gas del proyecto Camisea al mercado interno peruano. Ello es importante no solo por ser una promesa electoral central y por el ahorro que supondría para la nación abastecerse con un gas barato […]. Ante todo es clave por que podría suponer la puesta en marcha de ambiciosos planes de desarrollo gasífero –incluyendo plantas petroquímicas y de fertilizantes— para el sur andino, la región con mayores índices de pobreza y el enclave electoral de Ollanta Humala.

Tercero, la captación de mayores recursos para el gobierno central es justificada por la necesidad de potenciar y redirigir los programas sociales con el fin de reducir dramáticamente la pobreza, especialmente en las áreas rurales. La pronta creación del Ministerio de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social, cuyo función es la de centralizar los programas y tornarlos más eficientes evitando los serios problemas de duplicidad y filtración existentes, es señal de la prioridad dada al tema.

First, the achievement of a substantial raise in the taxes the mining companies pay thanks to an agreement that allows to break the legal frames of tax stability and the limits of competition, most of all in comparison with our neighbor, Chile. Even though some sectors of the left-wing questioned the amount and the form, the direct income for the central government to start new major infrastructure projects – important not only to close the gaps in the country but also to boost the economy in these times of crisis – is significant.

Second, even with a lot more implications, there had been advances in the negotiations to exclusively direct the gas reserves of project Camisea to the internal Peruvian market. This is important, not only because it was an electoral promise, but because the nation would save if its supplied by cheap gas […] Mostly, it is key because it could mean the kick off of ambitious plans of gas development – including petrochemisty and fertilizer factories – for the Andes south, the region with the highest poverty index and electoral cornerstone for Ollanta Humala.

Third, raising more resources for the central government is justified with the need of empowering and redirecting social programs aimed to dramatically reduce poverty, especially in rural areas. The swift creation of the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, with the objective of centralizing the programs and make them efficient avoiding existing serious duplicity and leaking problems, is a sign of the priority this issue has taken.

In the blog La caja de Daysi (Daysi's box) they point out [es] three adverse moments, one of which happened even before the beginning of the 100-day period:

…mucho antes que Humala juramente, su hermano menor, Alex Humala ya se había adelantado, viajando a Rusia y reuniéndose con el ministro del Exterior Serguei Lavrov para discutir posibles formas de cooperación en proyectos de gas a través de Alianzas Estratégicas. El caso se solucionó cuando el partido de Gana Perú tomo las medidas respectivas por aquella acción adelantada que hizo el hermano menor del presidente.

La designación de Ricardo Soberón al frente de Devida [Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas], también fue uno de las gestiones más cuestionadas porque este había sido el asesor de la congresista Nancy Obregón. Enseguida dispuso la suspensión temporal de la erradicación de cocales en el VRAE [Valle del Río Apurímac y Ene].

Humala también tuvo una exitosa gira en Latinoamérica y fue muy bien recibido por el marco de la Asamblea de la ONU. Sin embargo lo que le hizo temblar fue cuando un periodista de la Univisión le preguntó sobre una posible reelección, a lo que el mandatario muy soberbio en su respuesta atinó a no responder.

…long before Humala took oath, his younger brother, Alex Humala, anticipated himself by travelling to Russia to meet the Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov to discuss possible ways of cooperation in gas projects through strategic alliances. The case was solved when the Gana Peru party took the respective measures for that advanced action made by the president's younger brother.

The designation of Ricardo Soberon to lead Devida [National Comision for Development and Life without Drugs] was also a much questioned move because he is the former adviser to Congresswoman Nancy Obregon. Immediately he ordered the temporary suspension of the coca-plantation cleaning in VRAE [Apurimac and Ene Rivers Valley]

Humala also had a successful tour in Latin America and was well received by the General Assembly in the UN. Nonetheless, he was shaken when a journalist of Univision network asked him about a possible reelection. The arrogant leader managed to avoid an answer.

From the opinions expressed above, we can summarize that the government of Humala hasn't been as (bad or good) as expected, both for the rightists and the leftists; meaning Peru has not transformed into a Chavez’ influenced country, like many feared, or become a clear government for the majority of the people. And maybe this is a good sign, if the government manages to find its own path and include all Peruvians, rich and poor, white, ‘cholos’, Asian and blacks. Only time will tell.

The original version of this post was published in Globalizado [es] the personal blog of Juan Arellano on November 5, 2011.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site