Who is Pedro Castillo, the surprise candidate in Peru’s presidential elections | International | News

Pedro Castillo is against the gender approach in the school curriculum, he is against abortion, equal marriage and euthanasia.


The first place of the far-left candidate Pedro Castillo The first round of Peru’s presidential election portrays the abyss that has separated the capital of Lima from the Andean rural population since colonial times, traditionally marginalized and discriminated against.

Castillo, a schoolteacher and unionist who will face Keiko Fujimori in the second round, According to the preliminary vote, it has been promoted to the last instance of the presidential election by the Andean people who are tired of the elites who, with rare exceptions, have barred them from the capital.

Although he describes himself as leftist, Castillo holds conservative stances: he is against the gender approach in the school curriculum, he is against abortion, equal marriage and euthanasia.

The one falsely called “ deep Peru ” from Lima raised his voice in the form of a vote for a candidate practically unknown to the residents of the capital, who vaguely remember that four years ago in the city teacher strike led those paralyzed classes for three months.

He has been claiming that in recent weeks I wouldn’t tax big fortunes, as the heart of its redistribution plan in the gas nationalization and the renegotiation of contracts and treaties, as well as the obligation for multinational companies to invest part of their profits in the country

While Castillo in Lima is not even among the four most elected candidates, the candidate of the socialist and Marxist party Peru Libre ranks first in 16 of Peru’s 26 constituencies, according to the quick count conducted by the pollster Ipsos.

Stimulated by the field

Support for Castillo has been overwhelming in Andean regions where the majority of the population is rural and poor, such as Apurímac, Huancavelica and Ayacucho, where he has more than 50% of the vote.

In the northern Cajamarca, his native region, Castillo was voted the most with about 40% of the vote, a percentage quite similar to that obtained in the southern Amazon region of Madre de Dios, bordering Brazil and Bolivia, but with a large population emigrating from the Andes.

It was also most voted in the southern regions of Arequipa, Cusco and Puno, Above favorite candidates were born and identified with those departments such as the economist Hernando De Soto (neoliberal right), Verónika Mendoza (left) and Yonhy Lescano (center left) respectively.

His most likely opponent in the second round, Keiko Fujimori, the daughter and political heir of former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), received the most votes in 8 of the 26 constituencies, only half that of Castillo, but in those more urban, where there are large cities and a greater population density.

A stranger in Lima

“Where does Castillo come from?” Was the most repeated question this Monday in Lima, a city whose more affluent neighborhoods usually live with their backs to the Andes and its rural population, despite the fact that the mountain range begins as soon as one leaves the city along the Central Highway, the only paved road connecting Lima to the center of the country.

However, deep dissatisfaction with the rural vote in the Andes, a voter with a conservative left profile, was reflected in the extraordinary parliamentary elections just over a year ago.

Many are Peruvians who lived almost half a century ago without being considered citizens and that, after the agrarian reform of 1969 went unconsolidated, they were the great victims of the bloody Shining Path, a Maoist terror group that unleashed a bloody internal armed conflict (1990-2000) when they tried to recreate the Chinese revolution in Peru.

The ultra-left Pedro Castillo consolidated himself as the most elected candidate in Peru’s general election, but he was not enough to secure the presidency and is moving to the second round. EFE
Photo: EFE

Significant progress was already made in the 2020 elections when the rural mood in the Andes was concentrated in the radical ultra-nationalists of Unión Por el Perú (UPP), the messianic and agrarian party Frente Popular Agrícola del Perú (Frepap) and, to a lesser extent degree of scope, including the broad front of the left.

Castillo now collected those voices, a rural figure with whom they identify widely and with whom they can relate proposals that promise more equality between Peruvians and more investment in health and education, something that is difficult to access for the rural population.

He did it in record time, as his candidacy began to rise just two weeks before the vote, the time when he moved from a place in the polls in the group of “ others ” to first in the preferences.

By vote: Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori

If you are elected president, Castillo pledges to amend Peru’s constitution to implement economic reform with the state taking a more leading role in the marketIn addition, his proposal also includes nationalizing companies in economic sectors such as mining, oil, hydropower, gas and communications. This government plan is worrying some sectors of the right and center of the Andean country.

Looking ahead to the second round, the question is whether Castillo’s radical speech will be enough to reach the presidency as he will lead a Keiko Fujimori who will bring up her father’s legacy to Sendero Luminoso, but weakened by the corruption allegations. who can bring it to court. (I)