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Pedro Castillo Is Declared Peru’s President-Elect

51-year-old Pedro Castille has been declared president-elect of Peru as of yesterday night amid deepening social unrest. Castillo, the head of the Marxist party, is a far-left union activist whose rise to power has shocked Peru’s political establishment. More than six weeks after ballots were cast, election officials declared Castillo’s victory after denying fraud claims from Castillo’s right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori. Castillo won 50.1% of the votes, according to official counts. He will take office on July 28. Fujimori has refused to accept the results and continues to insist that there was voter fraud present in the election.  Castillo’s election could result in an overhaul of the country’s market economy.

For the past two decades, Peru has relied on global trade to power its economy. Peru currently boasts one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. Castillo is a former schoolteacher from the Andes. He was chosen as president amid anger that Peru fails to serve decent public services despite years of strong economic activity. This issue was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, an issue in which Castillo will likely have to tackle in his administration. The pandemic in Peru has killed more residents on a per capita basis than anywhere else in the world. Many Peruvians have blamed the health crisis on a lack of sufficient health services. The pandemic also pushed 10% of the population into poverty, reversing 15 years of social gains and improved economic activity.

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