News Release

Threats of Coup in Peru as OAS is “Shamefully Silent”

The Guardian reports in “Peru: Fujimori cries electoral fraud — and unleashes torrent of racism“: “The prospect of the son of illiterate Andean peasants becoming president as his rival cries fraud has shaken Peru’s entrenched class system and its fragile democracy, letting loose a torrent of racism in the bicentennial year of the country’s independence.

“With 100 percent of the official vote counted, leftist Pedro Castillo had 50.12 percent and [an] advantage of about 44,000 votes over his far-right rival Keiko Fujimori. But Fujimori has claimed fraud, challenging about 500,000 votes, calling for half to be annulled, and obliging officials at Peru’s electoral board to reexamine ballots — despite the lack of evidence of wrongdoing.”

The following two analysts are recently back from observing the election in Peru:

FRANCESCA EMANUELE, emanuelefrancesca@gmail.com
Emanuele is a Peruvian sociologist, born and raised in the province of Ica, four hours from Lima. She is currently a research assistant at American University in Washington, D.C., where she is pursuing doctoral studies in Anthropology.

She said today: “Keiko Fujimori still has not presented evidence supporting her allegations of fraud but continues to use legal tricks to delay the announcement of Pedro Castillo’s victory. This is despite the fact that all the votes have been counted and Castillo is clearly the winner with an advantage of more than 44,000 votes.

“Each day that passes without the official announcement of Castillo’s victory increases further destabilization of the country. Meanwhile, Peruvian elites are becoming increasingly belligerent, supported by a monopolized Peruvian mainstream media that amplifies their unfounded claims. Hundreds of retired members of Peru’s Armed Forces published a letter threatening a coup against Pedro Castillo’s future government. Other violent threats could follow if Keiko’s desperate and irresponsible attempts to reverse the results are not curbed.”

For the past 15 years, Emanuele’s articles have been published in numerous Peruvian newspapers. She is currently a regular columnist for the progressive Peruvian publication, Wayka. Prior to academia, Francesca was the correspondent for Telesur in Washington D.C., and a communications director for the Peru-based non-profit Promsex, which advocates for LGTBI rights and women’s reproductive rights. Her most recent piece in English, on the coup in Bolivia, was published by the magazine Red Pepper.

ALEXANDER MAIN, main@cepr.net@ceprdc
Director of international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Main said today: “By any objective measure, Pedro Castillo has won Peru’s presidential election. The vote count has been completed and the complaints filed by Fujimori’s team within the legal time frame have been duly addressed by the electoral authorities. Yet, facing enormous pressure from Fujimori and her powerful backers, Peru’s National Jury of Elections has delayed the announcement of Castillo’s victory, generating increasing instability and tension in the country.

“The Organization of American States is the primary international observer of these elections but has failed to denounce the extraordinary pressure and threats targeting Peru’s electoral authorities. Nor has the OAS sought to dispel the unfounded claims of fraud being propagated by Fujimori and her supporters. The OAS’ deafening silence at this critical juncture is shameful and suggests that they may be bowing to political pressure coming from the organization’s Secretary General Luis Almagro, who has frequently supported far right, undemocratic actors in the region. It’s worth remembering that, following Bolivia’s 2019 elections, an OAS observation team promoted false fraud claims and Almagro welcomed the military coup that took place a few weeks later.” See from CEPR from last year: “Data from Bolivia’s Election Add More Evidence That OAS Fabricated Last Year’s Fraud Claims.”