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Excmo. Sr.
 Alan García Pérez

In office
28 July 2006 – 28 July 2011
Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo
Yehude Simon
Javier Velásquez
Vice President Luis Giampietri
Lourdes Mendoza
Preceded by Alejandro Toledo
Succeeded by unknown
In office
28 July 1985 – 28 July 1990
Prime Minister Luis Alva Castro
Armando Villanueva
Luis Alberto Sánchez
Vice President Luis Alberto Sánchez
Luis Alva
Preceded by Fernando Belaúnde
Succeeded by Alberto Fujimori

Born 23 May 1949 (1949-05-23) (age 60)
Lima, Peru
Political party American Popular Revolutionary Alliance
Spouse(s) Carla Buscaglia (Divorced)
Pilar Nores
Alma mater Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
National University of San Marcos
Complutense University of Madrid
Religion Roman Catholicism

Alan Gabriel Ludwig García Pérez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈalaŋ ˈgaβɾjel ˈludβiɣ gaɾˈsia ˈpeɾes]; born May 23, 1949 in Lima) is the current President of Peru, having won the 2006 elections on June 4, 2006 in a run-off against Union for Peru candidate Ollanta Humala.[1] He is the leader of the APRA and the only party member ever to have served as President of Peru. He served a first term as President from 1985 to 1990. His first term was marked by a severe economic crisis, social unrest and violence. He ran unsuccessfully for the Presidency in 2001, losing in a run-off to Alejandro Toledo.


First Presidency

García won the elections on April 14, 1985 with 45% of the votes. Since he did not receive the 50% of the votes required to win the presidency, García had to enter a run-off against Alfonso Barrantes (former leftist mayor of Lima) of the United Left party. Barrantes, however, retired and decided not to enter the run-off, saying he did not want to prolong the political uncertainty of the country. García was thus declared president on June 1 and officially took power on July 28, 1985. For the first time in its sixty-year history, the APRA party had come to power in Peru. Aged only 36, García was dubbed "Latin America's Kennedy," becoming the region's youngest president at the time.

Despite his initial popularity among Peruvian voters, García's term in office was marked by bouts of hyperinflation, which reached 7,649% in 1990 and had a cumulative total of 2,200,200% over the five years, thereby profoundly destabilizing the Peruvian economy. Owing to such chronic inflation, the Peruvian currency, the sol, was replaced by the Inti in mid-1985, which itself was replaced by the nuevo sol ("new sun") in July 1991, at which time the new sol had a cumulative value of one billion (1,000,000,000) old soles. During García's administration, the per capita annual income of Peruvians fell to $720 (below the level of 1960) and Peru's GDP dropped 20%. By the end of his term, national reserves were a negative $900 million.

According to studies of the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics and the United Nations Development Programme,[2] around the start of his presidency, 41.6% of Peruvians lived in poverty. During his presidency, this percentage increased by 13% (to 55%) in 1991. García also made an attempt to nationalize the banking and insurance industries. He incurred the wrath of the International Monetary Fund and the financial community by unilaterally declaring a limit on debt repayment equal to 10% of the Gross National Product, thereby isolating Peru from the international financial markets.

The economic turbulence exacerbated social tensions in Peru and contributed in part to the rise of the violent rebel movement Shining Path, which launched the internal conflict in Peru and began attacking electric towers, causing a number of blackouts in Lima. The García administration unsuccessfully sought a military solution to the growing terrorism, allegedly committing human rights violations which are still under investigation. These include the Accomarca massacre, where 47 campesinos were gunned to death by the Peruvian armed forces in August 1985, the Cayara massacre (May 1988) in which some thirty were killed and dozens disappeared, and the summary execution of more than 200 inmates during prison riots in Lurigancho, San Juan Bautista (El Frontón) and Santa Bárbara in 1986. According to an official inquiry, an estimated 1,600 forced disappearances took place during García's presidency. His own personal involvement in these events is not clear. García was allegedly tied to the paramilitary Rodrigo Franco Command, which is accused of carrying out political murders in Peru during García's presidency. A US declassified report, written in late 1987, said that García's party, APRA, and top government officials were running a paramilitary group, responsible for the attempted bombing of the El Diario newspaper, then linked to Shining Path, sent people to train in North Korea and may have been involved in executions.[3] According to investigative journalist Lucy Komisar, the report made it clear that it believed that García was giving the orders.[3]

In addition, there were unconfirmed but popular rumours that he was suffering from mental disorders, and was a lithium user. There were also rumours of ties to Colombian drug dealers, aside from public charges of high-level corruption and theft at all levels of his government, and the naming of APRA party members to various administrative positions that they were not qualified for.[citation needed]

García's presidency left the country with hyperinflation, isolated from the international financial community, with negative reserves of US$900 million, continuous subversive activities by the Shining Path, great increase in poverty levels and an electric train multi-million investment in Lima that was never finished. His critics claim the many poor decisions he took while in office created an environment that led to the rise of an authoritarian leader like Alberto Fujimori. Some suspect García and APRA cut a deal with Fujimori during the 1990 election, backing him in return for immunity, so as to prevent Mario Vargas Llosa and his FREDEMO party, then leading in the polls, from coming to power. During the campaign, Vargas Llosa had promised to investigate corruption in the García administration.

García was accused of multiple charges of corruption during his term. Investigations were archived without verdict.


In 1992, García went into exile to Colombia and later to France after Fujimori's auto-coup during which the military raided his house. The new government re-opened charges against him for allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes.[citation needed] He denied the charges, and in 2001 Peru's Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations had run out following a recommendation by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.[4] There were charges of corruption involved in this decision,[citation needed] as at the same time a law was struck down by Congress which prevented anyone who had been investigated for charges of corruption in a public office to run for president (what his supporters in Congress dubbed the "anti-Alan law"). García could not justify how he had homes in the richest neighbourhoods of Bogotá and Paris,[citation needed] in addition to having his daughter enrolled in a top private school in France, if his only alleged income was from being an occasional guest speaker and the author of a few books with poor sales.[citation needed] His long-time ally Jorge Del Castillo represented him as his lawyer and performed very heavy lobbying[citation needed] for allowing García to legally return to Peru. After Castillo was elected to Congress, he had much more leverage for García's defence.

After living eight years and ten months in neighbouring Colombia and in France, he returned to Peru in 2001, following Alberto Fujimori's resignation from the presidency. As it had been rumoured for many years, García ran for president in the new elections called by transitory president Valentín Paniagua, with Jorge Del Castillo as his campaign manager. García competed against some of his harshest critics and worst political enemies, including Lourdes Flores Nano and Fernando Olivera. García's theme during this election campaign was that he was the most experienced candidate and thus the most prepared, as he had made mistakes before as President, and had learned from them. He attributed all the problems of the Peruvian economy in his first presidency to the economic problems of Argentina and Brazil at the time. He distanced himself from accusations that he had been protected by Fujimori during his exile, and he would switch the topic when he was asked about his endorsement of Fujimori in the 1990 election.

Geographic distribution of second-round votes, by winning candidate.
     Alan García, >2/3 of valid votes      Alan García, <2/3 of valid votes      Ollanta Humala, >2/3      Ollanta Humala, <2/3

He finished a distant second in the first round, far behind Alejandro Toledo, but just slightly above Flores Nano (by 1%), enough to take him to a run-off, as Toledo failed to obtain the 50% majority. During the campaign for the run-off Toledo's popularity decreased, while García's popularity increased with his characteristic rhetoric and classical oratory delivery, that had helped him being elected in 1985. García managed to obtain 48% of the vote in the run-off, losing by a close margin to Toledo. This was despite the movement "Voto Nulo" ("blank" or void vote), led by Jaime Bayly, a popular writer and TV presenter, and Álvaro Vargas Llosa, son of the famous novelist, in which celebrities asked Peruvian voters to vote for neither candidate and instead intentionally damage their vote cards or leave them blank. Since the 2001 election, García, as leader of the APRA party, led the main opposition.

García officially started his campaign for the April 2006 presidential election in Lima on February 18, 2005. Ollanta Humala won the election with 30.62% of valid votes, followed by García, who got 24.32% (against Lourdes Flores' 23.81%). As no candidate won a majority, a run-off was held on June 4, 2006 between Humala and García. Preliminary official results gave García an advantage over his run-off opponent, who conceded defeat.

On April 28, 2006, prior to the run-off, García became involved in a dispute with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as Chávez, for the second time in the Peruvian Presidential elections, declared his support for Ollanta Humala, García's opponent, and referred to García as a "robber", a "bandit", and "the Carlos Andrés Pérez of Peru". In response, García stated that Chávez was "not acting as a statesman" and challenged Chávez to a debate to be hypothetically hosted by CNN. García also called on the Organization of American States to intervene in the matter.[5][6]

On May 31, 2006, a few days before the second round election García's economic adviser Enrique Cornejo told the media that if García won in the second round, his government would renew a $422 million aid package with the International Monetary Fund.[7] Anoop Singh, the IMF's Western Hemisphere Director, responded positively by saying he was "impressed by the vision of the president-elected for Peru, especially his commitment to applying prudent economic policy."[8]

Second Presidency

On July 28, 2006, García was sworn in as the new president of Peru, after winning approximately 53% of the nationwide vote in the elections held on June 4. He had huge support in Lima and the northern coast, but did not get the votes of Humala's strongholds such as the southern region (mostly impoverished but including major cities as Cuzco and Arequipa) and the rain forest areas. A third of the voters said that voting for him was "voting for the lesser of two evils": although many Peruvians had a very negative impression of García after his first presidency, they were scared by rumours that Humala would create a government based on Fidel Castro's Cuba and would turn Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, into the virtual ruler of Peru, due to Chavez's patronage of Humala's party. Humala denied these rumours, but his conflicting statements about his government's vision and Chávez's strong campaigning for him created enough suspicions among voters to cost him the ballotage.

With 36 seats, APRA has the second largest bloc in the 120-seat unicameral Congress which was sworn in a couple of days before the President. With 45 seats, Humala's Union for Peru Party has the largest bloc, although it has divided in up to three factions.[9]

Following his victory García stated that he "seeks good relations with Venezuela" and did not intend to start a movement in the region against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. He stated that he would review a trade agreement with the US established by the Toledo administration before deciding to ratify the agreement. Although APRA's position towards the free trade agreement was qualified as ambiguous by their detractors, APRA had always sustained that they would approve the agreement with proper compensations for wheat, cotton and yellow corn producers. On June 28, one month before García was sworn in, his party gave 25 of the 79 votes (almost one third of the votes) that ratified the agreement in the Peruvian Congress, one month prior to the new legislature that will include the Union for Peru congressmen opposed to the agreement with the USA. The new Congress will still include a majority favourable to the free trade pact. Peru now awaits the agreement to be voted in the United States Congress.

On his first speech as President, García said that he would appoint a Finance Minister who was neither "an orthodox market liberal" nor a person "excessively in favour of state intervention in the economy". The position of Prime Minister was given to Jorge Del Castillo, his long time collaborator. According to the BBC, in private interviews García has stated his interest in a possible future trade agreement with Brazil and considers himself "an admirer" of Brazilian President Lula da Silva.[10]

In press conferences with the foreign press, García has acknowledged that the support Humala had received in the election "could not be ignored". García, in a recognition of future domestic politics with a UPP controlled Congress, was quoted as saying "Mr. Humala is an important political figure, and a President should consult with different political factions".[10] However, Mr. Humala has said he won't salute the winner personally, adding that "he and his party will constitute the principal opposition bloc, not to fight Mr. García, but to defend the interests of the State and watch the government".[11]

Alan García at the White House.

President Chávez of Venezuela responded to García's comments on his show Aló Presidente by stating that it was García who owed him an apology saying "the only way relations between the two countries can be restored is if Peru's elected President [García] gives an explanation and offers an apology to the Venezuelan people. He started throwing stones". Chávez also questioned the legitimacy of the election, citing 1.2 million invalid ballots and a margin of victory of 600,000 votes, although he didn't offer evidence for his remarks.[12] García, attending an invitation to meet Brazilian president Lula da Silva, responded to Chávez: "accept your defeat in silence. Don't ask me to apologize for something arising from interference and remarks that are unacceptable under international law."[13]

Differences with Chávez were left behind after García and he ended their controversy at the II South American Community of Nations Summit.[14][15]

On July 20, 2006 García named as Finance Minister Luis Carranza, a former executive at Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and Central Bank director and deputy finance chief from August 2004 to August 2005 in Alejandro Toledo's government. The appointment was welcomed by some detractors of García's fiscal policies during his first administration. But Mario Huamán Rivera, the President of Peru's largest trade union the Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (General Workers Confederation of Peru), has attacked the appointment stating that "it looks as though Alan García is not going to fulfil his promise to change economic policy".[16][17]

On the day before his inauguration, García formally named his cabinet including former Secretary-General of the APRA party and re-elected Congressman Jorge del Castillo as Prime Minister, Luis Carranza as Minister of Finance and Economy, and José Antonio García Belaúnde as Foreign Affairs Minister.[18] García was inaugurated as President of Peru on July 28, 2006.[19]

During his campaign, García declared that he supports death penalty for rapists of minors;[20] he has repeated this stance while in office. He has even proposed a polemic law on the matter, which would modify the Criminal Code.[21] Although the issue seemed to be stalled, García widened the range of his proposal for death penalty, by including terrorists onto the list of those who could receive it.[22][23]

On October 23, 2006, García publicly admitted that he had had a child outside of marriage, although he had fully recognized him as his own. With his wife standing by his side, García told the media the name of the one year and ten-month old child: Federico Danton García Cheesman. García said that the child resulted from an affair he conducted between 2004 and 2005 when he was separated from his wife.[24] César Hildebrandt, the Peruvian journalist who revealed García's 6th child, was fired from the newspaper La Primera three days after García's public declaration. It is a matter of debate if his sacking had to do with the revelation.

García faced his first major political defeat of his second term in office on January 11, 2007 when his proposal to introduce the death penalty as a punishment for captured Shining Path rebels was rejected by Congress in a vote of 49 to 26. García had promised to introduce the death penalty for Shining Path rebels during the 2006 Presidential election. Following the defeat of the proposal, García suggested a national referendum on the issue but a referendum is expected to be blocked by Congress. Legislators who voted against the bill stated that it would be a breach of the American Convention on Human Rights to which Peru is a signatory. Approximately 3000 supporters of the proposal marched in Lima holding up photos of victims of attacks by the Shining Path.[25]

On June 5, 2009, President Alan García ordered Peruvian Police and military forces to stop Amazonian Indigenous protesters from blocking roads in the Bagua region. The natives had been demonstrating against the signing by Alan García of special decrees that allow foreign corporations to enter Indigenous lands for oil drilling, mining and logging. As a result of the actions of the armed forces, dozens of Indigenous peoples have been killed -including Native civilians and policemen- and nearly two hundred disappeared[26]. Eyewitnesses claim that the bodies of the murdered amazon Natives have been dumped into the rivers[27].[28]

Foreign affairs

García with President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in Lima on 24 November 2008.

After being elected, but before his inauguration, García sought to heal the relationship with Chile, which had been disturbed after some differences between the governments of Alejandro Toledo and Ricardo Lagos and severely impaired by the former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's extradition affair.[29] García's intentions were well-received by Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, as she and García met and struck some pre-agreements.[30][31] These conversations eventually led to the final draft of a landmark economic agreement with Chile a month after García was sworn in.[32][33]

On November 9, 2006, García signed 12 commercial agreements with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil,[34][35] strengthening the relationship between the two countries. As part of the IIRSA program and continuing integration efforts -including the August 2006 negotiations between Petrobras and PETROPERU-,[36] these new agreements seek to further bilateral cooperation.[37] García offered Peruvian hydropower to meet Brazil's growing energy needs, although further details were not disclosed.[38]

García mended relations with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela on December 9, 2006 during the second South American Community of Nations summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia. García told the Peruvian broadcaster Radio Programas del Perú that "the two of us are well-mannered and cordial people, so any kind of argument, any previously made statements, remain a closed chapter" referring to disputes between the two leaders during the 2006 Peruvian presidential election where Chavez supported García's opponent Ollanta Humala.[39]

Council of Ministers

Ministry Name Party Term
President of the Council of Ministers Javier Velásquez APRA July 2009 to date
Foreign Relations José Antonio García Belaúnde Independent July 2006 to date
Defense Rafael Rey Renovación Nacional July 2009 to date
Agricultural Dante Adolfo de Córdova Núñez Independent July 2009 to date
Work and Employment Manuela Esperanza García Cochagne Independent July 2009 to date
Woman and Social Development Nidia Vílchez APRA October 2008 to date
Economy and Finance Luis Carranza Ugarte Independent January 2008 to date
Transportation and Communications Enrique Cornejo APRA July 2009 to date
Housing, Construction and Sanitation Ing. Juan Sarmiento Soto APRA September 2009 to date
Foreign Commerce and Tourism Martín Pérez UN Coalition July 2009 to date
Production Mercédes Aráoz Fernández Independent July 2009 to date
Health Oscar Ugarte Ubillús Humanist October 2008 to date
Energy and Mining Pedro Sánchez Gamarra Independent October 2008 to date
Education José Antonio Chang Independent July 2006 to date
Interior Octavio Salazar Military - General July 2009 to date
Justice Aurelio Pastor APRA July 2009 to date
Environment Antonio Brack Egg Independent July 2008 to date

Published works

Alan García is the author of several books on the Peruvian reality and Latin America. Most of them may be found in the National Library of Peru. His published works include the following:

  • 1988  A la inmensa mayoría: discursos
  • 1989  El futuro diferente
  • 1989  El desarme financiero: pueblo y deuda en América Latina
  • 1990  La revolución regional
  • 1991  La defensa de Alan García
  • 1992  El nuevo totalitarismo
  • 1994  El mundo de Machiavello
  • 1997  La falsa modernidad
  • 1997  Siete tesis erróneas del neoliberalismo en América Latina
  • 1999  Mi Gobierno hizo la regionalización
  • 2000  La década infame: deuda externa 1990–1999
  • 2003  Modernidad y política en el siglo XXI: globalización con justicia social
  • 2005  Sierra Exportadora - Empleo, Modernidad y Justicia en Los Andes


In November 2009 he was given the title of "the New Kirstie Alley"[40] by Conan O'Brien.

See also


  1. ^ García wins to become Peru president al-Jazeera, June 5, 2006
  2. ^ Perú, Atlas Internet (Spanish)
  3. ^ a b Lucy Komisar, Peru: US Gov’t Document Links García to 1980s Death Squads, Inter Press Service, December 5, 2007.
  4. ^ "Peru court lifts García corruption charge" January 19, 2001 BBC
  5. ^ Alan García reta a Chávez a polemizar por CNN, El Universal, 28 April 2006 (Spanish)
  6. ^ Alan García in Dispute with Hugo Chávez, University of British Columbia—Peru Elections 2006, April 28, 2006
  7. ^ "Peru's García Pledges to Renew IMF Loan Agreement (Update2)", Bloomberg, May 31, 2006
  8. ^ "IMF says "impressed" with Peru's García's vision", June 14, 2006 (Reuters).
  9. ^ Exit Poll Results: Alan García in First Place University of British Columbia—Peru Elections 2006, June 4, 2006.
  10. ^ a b "García desestima roces con Chávez" June 6, 2006 BBC Mundo.
  11. ^ Humala says he won't give García truce, El Comercio, June 8, 2006.
  12. ^ "Peru President-Elect García Owes Venezuela Apology, Chavez Says", June 11, 2006 Bloomberg
  13. ^ "Peru's García refuses to apologize to Chavez", June 13, 2006 Reuters
  14. ^ "Peru's García cozies up to Ecuador, Venezuela", December 9, 2006 International Herald Tribune
  15. ^ "García and Hugo Chavez set differences aside", December 9, 2006 Living in Peru
  16. ^ "García Names Carranza Peru's Next Finance Minister" July 20, 2006 Bloomberg
  17. ^ Hal Weitzman, "García's choice of finance minister cheered" July 22, 2006 Financial Times
  18. ^ "Alan García Announces Peruvian Staff" July 28, 2006 Prensa Latina
  19. ^ Tyler Bridges, "Alan García inaugurated as president of Peru" July 28, 2006 The Miami Herald
  20. ^ "Alan García envía al Congreso propuesta para pena de muerte" September 21, 2006 Los Tiempos
  21. ^ Cecilia Rosales Ferreyros, "García plantea volver a aplicar pena de muerte" August 9, 2006 El Comercio
  22. ^ "Peru's President in favor of death penalty for terrorists" November 2, 2006 Living In Peru
  23. ^ "Alan García: guerra avisada, señores, no mata gente" November 2, 2006 El Comercio
  24. ^, "Tengo un Niño Lindo"
  25. ^ "Presidente García insiste en aplicar la pena de muerte" January 19, 2007 El Comercio
  26. ^ Protesters Gird for Long Fight Over Opening Peru’s Amazon
  27. ^ Native clash with armed police in Peru
  28. ^ Peruvian Police Accused of Massacring Indigenous Protesters in Amazon Jungle
  29. ^ "Will Chile send Fujimori to Peru?" January 5, 2006 The Economist
  30. ^ "Alan García se reunió con Bachelet" June 23, 2006 (BBC).
  31. ^ Noriega, Carlos "Del odio al amor hay sólo un paso" June 24, 2006 Página 12
  32. ^ "Chile y Perú firman primer TLC entre países sudamericanos" August 22, 2006 Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile
  33. ^ "Perú y Chile suscriben un 'histórico' acuerdo comercial" August 24, 2006 La Última
  34. ^ "García: Peru and Brazil trust in the power of its people" November 9, 2006 Living in Peru
  35. ^ "Brazil, Peru sign 12 cooperation agreements" November 10, 2006 People's Daily
  36. ^ "Peru - Agreement with state companies from Peru" Petrobras - Investor News
  37. ^ Andrade, Juliana "Após encontro, Lula e García firman acordos de cooperação bilateral" November 9, 2006 Agência Brasil
  38. ^ Clendenning, Alan"Peru president offers energy to Brazil" November 10, 2006 Business Week
  39. ^ "Peru's García cozies up to Ecuador, Venezuela" December 9, 2006 International Herald Tribune
  40. ^ "Alan García Pérez is the new Kirstie Alley"

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Belaúnde
President of Peru
1985 – 1990
Succeeded by
Alberto Fujimori
Preceded by
Senator of the Republic
1990 – 1992
Succeeded by
Senate dissolved
Preceded by
Alejandro Toledo
President of Peru
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jorge del Castillo
General Secretary of the APRA


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Alan Gabriel Ludwig García Pérez (born May 23, 1949) has been the president of Peru for 1985-1990 & 2006-present.


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