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Being a part of the de Sardon-Glass community is an honor and a responsibility. It allows us to study at Maxwell without worries and commits us to become key agents in the development of our countries.”

Nuria Esparch '00 E.M.P.A.

Senior Manager of Institutional Relations, Southern Peru Copper Corporation

Read Nuria's Monograph

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“Coups to Save Democracy”

Nuria Esparch

June 2023

After the last election in Peru in 2021, a group of military retirees went to the streets of Lima to ask active-duty military members to carry out a military coup to prevent the person who had won the election from taking office. The argument was to "save democracy” to avoid falling into "communism." Despite these requests – which became very explicit – the Peruvian active-duty military members remained respectful of the Constitution, ignoring calls for sedition.

This monograph – written by Maxwell alumna and former Peruvian Defense Minister, Nuria Esparch – addresses two main questions. First, why did some Peruvians want to defend democracy with a coup? Second, what has changed in the military that used to intervene in politics and now does not?

Nuria Esparch is a lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and has a master's degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University. Esparch is currently the Senior Manager of Institutional Relations at Southern Peru Copper Corporation. Throughout her career, she has worked in both the public and private sectors in Peru. In the public sector, Esparch was General Secretary of the Ministries of Agriculture, Labor and Employment Promotion, as well as Women and Vulnerable Populations.

In addition, she was Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Homeland Security and Vice Minister of Resources of the Ministry of Defense. She left that position to assume the Executive Presidency of the National Civil Service Authority (SERVIR), an institution she founded in 2008. In 2020 she was appointed Minister of Defense, which made her the first woman to hold this position in Peru’s history.



Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
346 Eggers Hall