Latin America’s Shifting Politics: Virtue, Fortune, and Failure in Peru

Issue Date October 2018
Volume 29
Issue 4
Page Numbers 65-76
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The downfall of Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) in March 2018—less than two years into his five-year term—owed much to the poor decisions of this right-wing technocrat, whom a stroke of fortune had brought to the presidency. Yet it also reflected the broader dynamics of Peruvian politics, in which a “business model” that sees places on party tickets rented out each season has inhibited long-term planning and cooperation. After narrowly defeating Keiko Fujimori in the 2016 presidential election, PPK failed to reckon with intransigent opposition from the fujimorista majority in Congress. When the fallout of a scandal involving the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht came together with a controversial decision to pardon ex-president Alberto Fujimori, PPK’s days in office were numbered.