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Humala claims victory in Peru elections, beating the Fujimori name

June 8, 2011 | 10:53 am

Ollanta humala campaign afp

Former Peruvian military officer Ollanta Humala has been named the winner of Sunday's presidential election, news that briefly sent Peru's stock market into a jittery plunge, reports L.A. Times correspondent Tracy Wilkinson from Lima.

Humala ran strong among the poor in Peru, who have been left out of the country's strong economic growth in recent years. His opponent, Keiko Fujimori -- daughter of the disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori -- found much of her support among Peru's affluent establishment in Lima. Both had unpleasant historical legacies to overcome.

Fujimori in particular appeared unable to shake memories of the human-rights atrocities committed during her father's presidency and the war against the Shining Path. During the campaign, she was pressured into apologizing for the forced sterilization of an estimated 300,000 impoverished women -- yet kept the official in charge of that program by her side as an aide.

Many Peruvians told reporters they were fearful a vote for Keiko would be like a vote for her father. The elder Fujimori remains jailed in Peru on charges of corruption and human-rights abuses.

In Humala's previous run for the presidency, he was cast as a radical nationalist in the mold of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. This time around, he presented himself as a more moderate leftist, similar to the hugely popular former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. At one point, Humala even swore on a Bible that he would respect democracy and the Peruvian constitution.

"We won't expropriate even a dog," he said.

After stocks plunged on Monday, they bounced back on Tuesday as Humala promised he would maintain policies to keep up Peru's growth and seek to maintain strong ties with the United States. He assumes the presidency, for a five-year term, on July 28.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Supporters of Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala rally before a campaign poster. Credit: Agence France-Presse

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