WSJ Op-Editorial on Fujimori

Kevin Cabral kcabral at
Sun Aug 25 13:08:26 MDT 1996

	Friday's edition of the Wall Street Journal housed an op-ed written
by William Ratliff of the Hoover Institute. Here are some excerpts from
the article which attempts to ressurect the idea that the PCP is dead,
after many media channels hailed its "ressurection" last week.
"Northern Peru's top Maoist, Pedro Sanchez Flores, was captured last
weekend, just as he was trying to revive the "people's war" that brought
the Shining Path its reputation a decade ago as the most bloodthirsty
guerilla movement in Latin American history."


Where does this story come from? I read absolutely nothing about this last
week? What does Adolfo think of that assertion that Fujimori caught a "top
Maoist" who was, as ridiculous as it sounds, trying to ressurect a
"people's war" that seems to be signifigantly active. And by the way, what
would they mean by Northern Peru? I understand that the Northern tip of
Peru is mainly a tropical rainforest, and that the strongest base of PCP
power has been in the areas south of Lima (Ayachuacho) and within the city


"The movement, it seem, has all but died, leaving a splinter group fueled
more by narcotics trafficking than by ideology."

Discussing Fujimori Ratliff says:

"Over the last three years Peruvian growth  has set a Latin American
record, leading one international banker to call the country a "South
American jaguar."

"The president openly favors a "direct democracy" that worries Americans
and riles Peruvian critics. This populism can be used to justify anything,
critics say, even the rule of Fidel Castro, forgetting that Mr. Castro has
never allowed the Cuban people to vote for or against him."


Ratliff seems to have just completely lied about Castro and elections in
Cuba. I believe Castro was re-elected not too long ago with nearly 90% of
the vote, of course they are not multi-party elections but they are

Second, where does this stuff about Peruvian economic growth come from? Is
this a calculation of growth in real wages, or GDP? Could someone supply
some Peruvian economic growth statistics for the last 5 years?

Third, what is this "direct democracy" that Ratliff believes Fujimori
favors? Does anyone have an except from a Fujimori speech that outlines
whatever "direct democracy" is supposed to be in Peru under Fujimorism.

"Mr Fujimori [in contrast to Castro] has walked away with absolute
majorities in two free elections, winning re-election in 1995 with more
than 3 times the vote of his closest challenger, former UN
Sectretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar...Polls in June put Mr.
Fujjimori's approval rating at 65% and a plurality already say they want
him to run for president again in 2000."

Question and Comment:

As I understand it Fujimori only won election in 1995 with less than 20%
of the votes of those who were registered to vote. His challenger had 13%
of the vote, I thought. Which means that nearly 70% of registered voters
did not vote at all. I would like more accurate statistics oin the
election in 1995, and would also like to know if there was an "against
both" option on the ballots. I am sure that Ratliff is lying once more.

Next, on the polls, has there ever been a very accurate poll on Fujimori's
popularity done? One that surveys people everywhere? Not just in the
prosperous areas of Lima over the telephone?

"Elections and polls show that the poorest in Lima's shantytowns and
countryside are among his strongest supporters. A recent World Bank
report says that although millions in the shantytowns and countryside
live in deep poverty, the lives of most Peruvians have improved under Mr.
Fujimori's rule."


Will someone please find statistics that back up the last sentence or
rebut it? Also, the poll thing shows up again. Of course who would ever
doubt the accuracy of an opinion poll, especially within a huge
disinformation campaign by Fujimori?


"An internal Aprista Party report last month criticized Fujimori for
authoritarianism, destruction of institutions, and total centralization of
state policy in a new oligarchy. To highlight what they consider his
increasingly one-man rule, critics point to a recent campaign to withdraw
power from Lima's popular mayor, Alberto Andrade."


Ratliff now sheds a paragraph of light on the accusations made against
Fujimori. Anyone want to comment about Andrade, or the new oligarchy? How
about the destruction of institutions?

Cols, Oh


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