Peru's president-elect Humala eyes stronger US ties

Ollanta Humala leaves after an interview with Reuters Mr Humala will take office on 28 July

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Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala says he wants to strengthen ties with Peru's South American neighbours and the US - a "strategic partner".

Mr Humala also said he would work to maintain Peru's strong economic growth.

Peru would follow its own model, he said, rejecting suggestions that he would be a copy of his former ally, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

The leftist former army officer defeated right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori in Sunday's second round vote.

His victory, by three percentage points, prompted an immediate fall on the Lima stock exchange but shares subsequently rallied.

Peru's economy "has been growing for more than eight years at a rate of 7% to 8%, which shows that in real terms the economy is solid and that the Monday (downturn) was market speculation", Mr Humala told the French news agency AFP.

In a series of interviews with foreign media, Mr Humala insisted he would work to protect Peru's economic performance.

"We think the path for Peru is its own road, without copying other countries. That needs to be very clear," he told Reuters.

Visits planned

During the election campaign, Mr Humala's critics expressed fears he would embark on interventionist policies similar to those of Mr Chavez in Venezuela.

Mr Humala has insisted he is more in sympathy with Brazil's moderate left-wing approach.

The president-elect, who will be inaugurated on 28 July, is due to embark on a tour of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

He said he wanted to co-operate with other countries to tackle poverty, inequality and malnutrition in Latin America.

"We want to work on Latin American integration beyond the ideological issues because we are all working for our own national interests," said Mr Humala.

Tackling drug-trafficking is a key task and for that Peru saw the US as a "strategic partner", he said.

Mr Humala campaigned on a pledge to increase the state's role in the economy and redistribute wealth to Peru's poor majority.

This worried business leaders and investors, but on Tuesday he told Reuters there was room to discuss a proposed windfall profits tax on mining companies.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Before the Europeans arrived the Incas were the bloodiest conquerers that South America had ever seen. Where do you think they got the tonnes of gold and silver from in the first place if not from the countless tribes they conquered, assimilated and enslaved? My point? Humans of all races have done terrible things. Living in the past and harbouring a hatred like yours will not help anyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    #16, The real Peruvian people-The Incas? So you only count the last 800 years of history? Or are the countless civilisations such as the Chimu, Huari, Tiwanaka, Moche, Nazca, Chavin etc. just an inconvenience for your nationalistic and racist vitirol?

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    My point is: tell your European and American masters to send back to Peru all the tons of gold and silver your mercenary ancestors had stolen from the real Peruvian people-The Incas!

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Cassandra, I'm a teacher, and I teach Peruvian kids of all colours, creeds and religions.I am descended from a Painter and Decorator from Newcastle.There is a National Health Service here available to all. There is free state education up to the age of 17.There is universal sufferage for all Peruvians over 18.They just elected the second Indian president in the last ten years.What's your point?

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    You are a descendant from the European parasites who did nothing for Peru but abusing the Inca people, paying them starvation salaries which is a hidden form of slavery, letting the Anglo-Saxon and Western Europe steal as much resources as they want and making sure that native people get no education, no medical care, no development, but a lot tortures, killings, and the same rights as animals.


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