A Rural Instructor Wins Peru’s Presidency After The Longest Electoral Depend In 40 Years : NPR

0
57

Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo was surrounded by journalists in Lima last week. Martin Mejia / AP Hide caption

Toggle caption

Martin Mejia / AP

Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo was surrounded by journalists in Lima last week.

Martin Mejia / AP

LIMA, Peru – Political freshman rural teacher Pedro Castillo became the winner of the Peruvian presidential election on Monday after the country’s longest election count in 40 years.

Castillo, whose supporters included Peru’s poor and rural citizens, defeated right-wing politician Keiko Fujimori with just 44,000 votes. The electoral authorities released the final official results more than a month after the runoff election in the South American nation.

With a pencil the size of a stick, the symbol of his Peru Libre Party, Castillo popularized the phrase “No more poor in a rich country”. The economy of Peru, the world’s second largest copper producer, was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, bringing poverty to nearly a third of the population and undoing a decade’s achievements.

Historians say he was the first farmer to become President of Peru, where, until now, the indigenous peoples have almost always received the worst of poor public services, despite the nation’s first two decades of the 19th century.