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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Peruvian Politics

The policy package which the FT reports that Peruvian front running Presidential candidate Ollanta Humala is adocating is striking:

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Humala also pledged to introduce “21st-century nationalisation” and said he would refuse to sign the trade deal Peru has agreed with Washington. In addition, he promised to restrict imports from China, limit Chilean investment in Peru and end US-sponsored eradication of coca, the raw material for cocaine........

The candidate repeatedly struck a protectionist note, warning of the need to “protect internal markets and aid economic development”. He warned that “imports of cheap textiles from China are wrecking our textiles industry”.

“Small productive companies that provide employment are being destroyed. We should restrict those imports,”

What is most interesting about the possible evolution of Peru if Humala is elected is how much it mirrors what is currently happening in countries like Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Latin America is certainly dividing demographically, with countries like Argentina, Chile, and in all probability Brazil, seriously looking like they well on the way up the development ramp. Columbia looks like it is somewhere in the middle, moving now this way, now that.

A quick look at the median ages and the respective fertility rates may help clarify why this might be happening, and why we are seeing such a resurgence in assertiveness from the continent's indigenous 'Latino' population.