Political Challenges in Peru After Fujimori's Pardon - PLACA
Salvador del Solar
is a Peruvian lawyer, actor, and filmmaker. Maxwell alum and de Sardon
Glass Fellow (2002), he is the former Minister of Culture of Peru (2017). As a
filmmaker, he wrote and directed “Magallanes” (2015), an internationally
awarded film that explores the vestiges of political violence as experienced by
a Quechua-speaking migrant woman. He has worked extensively as a stage, TV, and
film actor in different Latin American countries. He obtained his law degree from
the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (1994), where he has also taught a
course on Political Communication.
At the end of the 1980’s, Peru was facing difficult times. Under a state-controlled economy, everyday experience was determined by scarcity, hyperinflation, and the killing and bombings of Shining Path. This seemingly unsurmountable situation began to change at the turn of the following decade. Inflation was controlled, terrorism defeated, foreign credit reestablished. Most state-owned companies were privatized, labor laws were modified, and local and foreign investment began to flow as the country opened itself to a globalized world.
Today, even if the pace of its growth has slowed down, the country’s transformation is undeniable. GDP has increased tenfold. Poverty decreased from more than half to a fifth of the population. Exports are booming and so is construction. And low salaries and unemployment are no longer among the top national worries.
The “good times”, however, have made more conspicuous many of the country’s inveterate problems. Most of them show a profound disparity between Peru’s blooming private sector and a rather neglected public sphere. An asymmetry, as well, between Peruvians’ growing self-appraisal as consumers or entrepreneurs and a still weak self-understanding as citizens. In essence: an erosion, on the cusp of the bicentennial of its independence, of a political arrangement not sufficiently rooted in the first place: The Republic.
Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
Program on Latin America and the Caribbean
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