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News > Peru

Peru's Leftist Candidate Stands Out in Presidential Debate

  • Keiko Fujimori (L) and Pedro Castillo (R), Lima, Peru, May 30, 2021.

    Keiko Fujimori (L) and Pedro Castillo (R), Lima, Peru, May 30, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @then24dotcom

Published 31 May 2021

During the three-hour presidential debate, Pedro Castillo ratified his desire to dignify the lives of Peruvians who have been victims of exclusion.

Peru's National Electoral Jury on Sunday hosted a debate between the two candidates Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori ahead of the presidential runoff to be held on June 6.


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During the three-hour presidential debate, Castillo ratified his commitment to the people and his desire to dignify the lives of Peruvians who have been victims of exclusion.

"I am a man of work, of faith and hope. I know what it is to scrape a pot and give food to my family," he said.

"I am a teacher concerned about education and with clean hands... It is a lie that we are going to take away your bread, your factory, your house," he added.

Popular Force Fujimori's candidate dedicated her time to verbally attack Castillo and, paradoxically, accuse him of violence against journalists and citizens.


When speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, the daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori promised to replace rapid tests with molecular tests, accelerate the vaccination process, promote telemedicine, and improve the provisioning of hospitals with shortages of medicines.

In response to these demagogic offers, Peru Libre candidate Castillo recalled that health was never considered a right by Fujimori's dictatorship.

"Now they bring a bunch of proposals like Santa Claus. Oxygen should be a right and not a business. Vaccination should be guaranteed to all," he pointed out.

"For us, health is not just the pandemic. It is a structural and historical problem. Before the pandemic, hospitals had collapsed and there were major health problems. This pandemic only exposed the precariousness of the Peruvian health system," Castillo said.

In addition to prioritizing the fight against child malnutrition, the leftist candidate pledged to improve the functioning of the health system by activating the participation of social organizations as a basis for the detection and resolution of structural problems.


Fujimori promised a tax exemption for 1.5 million small and medium entrepreneurs, to whom she would grant loans for US$2,625 to be paid back after five years.

Castillo ratified that he will promote economic growth by respecting private property but controlling the functioning of the markets through public authority. To generate at least 1 million jobs per year, the leftist politician will promote the popular economy, credit to the productive sectors, and the reduction of the cost of electricity and telephone services.


Besides vowing that she would expand the educational infrastructure through the construction of 3,000 modern schools, Fujimori will promote virtual education through a "Technological Basket", a program that will acquire 6 million computers with Internet access.

Castillo added that the dignification of the teaching profession will be a priority during his administration. To this end, he will establish pedagogical universities in every region of the country, guarantee free access of young people to universities, and increase investment in science and technology.

Fight against corruption

Fujimori, the daughter of the former president who is imprisoned for crimes against humanity, did not say much about the violation of the law by public officials. She only said that she will increase the budget for the Comptroller of the Republic.

In contrast to this lax position, Castillo promised significant institutional changes to combat corruption.

"Is talking about corruption not talking about Fujimorism? Corruption has corrupted the morals of society. Therefore, it is necessary to create a National Anticorruption Council, which should be integrated by the Judiciary, the Attorney General, and the Ombudsman," he explained, adding that "the corrupt should be prevented from holding public office and contracting with the State."

He ratified his respect for the independence of powers and reiterated that public resources will be used for programs in favor of the most vulnerable population.

Human Rights

The daughter of former dictator Fujimori also did not address the issue of state terrorism and human rights violations. Instead, she said that her administration will guarantee trust and double the amount of the poverty bonus.

Castillo explained that Peru needs to overcome the era of the Fujimori dictatorship by establishing a new Constitution, which must be drafted with the participation of all citizens to ensure rights for all.

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