|Affiliation||APRA - Peruvian Aprista
, , Peru
|| May 23, 1949
|Died||April 17, 2019
Apr 17, 2019 11:06am
Pro-Capital Punishment - Catholic -
|Info||Alan Gabriel Ludwig García Pérez was President of Peru from 1985 to 1990. His presidency was marked by bouts of hyperinflation, social turmoil, human rights violations, increasing violence, increase of blackouts in Lima, international financial isolation, a failed attempt to confiscate the 2 main banks and economic downturn. |
García was born into a middle-class Peruvian family with close ties to the already established APRA party. García's father, Carlos García Ronceros, was the secretary of the APRA's organization during the government of Manuel A. Odría, which had declared the illegality of the APRA. His father was later arrested and imprisoned given his political militancy, leaving him alienated from his family and not meeting his son Alan until five years later.
García obtained his early education at the Colegio Nacional José María Eguren in Lima's Barranco district. He went on to postsecondary studies at the Pontificia Universidad Católica and later earned his law degree at the National University of San Marcos in 1971. Interested in expanding his academic curriculum, he moved to Europe, attending the Universidad Complutense in Madrid where he studied and completed his thesis on constitutional law, which earned him his political science doctorate. In 1973, he went on to the University of Paris, where he later obtained his degree in sociology.
After living several years in Paris, García was urged by the elder Haya de la Torre (who would die one year later) to return to political life in Peru in 1978, after the Bermúdez administration presided over the return to civilian government and allowed the reorganization of other political parties.
The youthful and charismatic García was elected president on April 14, 1985 with 45% of the vote during the first round. Since he did not receive the 50% of the vote required to win the presidency, García was required to enter the second round against Alfonso Barrantes Lingán (former communist mayor of Lima) of the Izquierda Unida party and a major presidential contender. Barrantes, however, retired and decided not to enter the second round of the elections, saying he did not want to prolong the political uncertainty of the country. García was thus declared president on June 1st and officially took power on July 28, 1985. It was the first time in its sixty-year history that the populist APRA party had come to power in Peru. Aged only 36, García was dubbed "Latin America's Kennedy," becoming the region's youngest president at the time.
Despite his initial popularity among Peruvian voters, García's term in office was marked by bouts of hyperinflation, which reached 7,649% in 1990 and had a cumulative total of 2,200,200% between July 1985 and July 1990, thereby profoundly destabilizing the Peruvian economy.
Owing to such chronic inflation, the Peruvian currency, the sol, was replaced by the Inti in mid-1985, which itself was replaced the nuevo sol ("new sol") in July 1991, at which time the new sol had a cumulative value of one billion(1,000,000,000) old soles. During his administration, the per capita annual income of Peruvians fell to $720 (below the level of 1960) and Peru's Gross Domestic Product dropped 20%. By the end of his term, national reserves were a negative $900 million.
According to studies of the INEI and PNUD, around the start of his presidency, 41.6% of peruvians lived in poverty. During his presidency, more than five million Peruvians were added to the ranks of the poor. The percentage increased 23% (to 55%) in 1991.
García also made an attempt to nationalize the banking and insurance industries. He incurred the wrath of the IMF and the financial community by unilaterally declaring a ceiling on debt repayment equal to 10% of GNP, thereby isolating Peru from the international financial world until García's successor, Alberto Fujimori, resolved the matter in the early 1990s.
The economic turbulence of the time excerbated social tensions in Peru and partly contributed to the rise of the violent rebel movement Shining Path, which had begun attacking electric towers, causing a number of blackouts in Lima. The García administration unsuccessfully sought a military solution to the growing terrorism, committing human rights violations which are still under investigation. These include the Accomarca massacre, where 47 campesinos were gunned to death by the Peruvian armed forces in August 1985, the Cayara massacre (May 1988) in which some thirty were killed and dozens disappeared, and the summary execution of more than 200 inmates during prison riots in Lurigancho, San Juan Bautista (El Frontón) and Santa Bárbara in 1986. According to an official inquiry, an estimated 1,600 forced disappearances took place during García's presidency.
In 1992, García went into exile in France after Fujimori's auto-coup during which the military raided his house. The new government re-opened charges against him that he took millions of dollars in bribes. He denied the charges but by then Peru's Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the statute of limitations had run out. After living eight years and 10 months in neighboring Colombia, he returned to Peru in 2001 to run for president, and just 90 days after arriving in Peru he managed to obtain 48% of the vote but lost by a close margin to Alejandro Toledo. Since the 2001 election, García, as leader of the APRA party, has led the opposition in the Peruvian Congress.
Garcia left the country with hyperinflation, isolated from the international financial community, reserves of minus US$900 Million, continuous bombing and violent attacks by a rising Shining Path terrorist group, great increase in poverty levels and an electric train multi-million investment that was never finished.
García remains a popular public figure in Peru, largely due to his oratorial skills. Some Peruvians have called him "Latin America's best orator with a power to convince." However, his critics claim the many poor decisions he took while in office created an environment conducive the rise of an authoritarian leader like Fujimori. Some suspect García and APRA cut a deal with Fujimori during the 1990 election, backing him in return for impunity, so as to prevent Mario Vargas Llosa and his FREDEMO party, then leading in the polls, from coming to power. During the campaign, FREDEMO had promised to investigate corruption in the García administration.
García officially started his campaign for the April 2006 presidential election in Lima on February 18, 2005. His party considers him to be the best chance for APRA to regain power after Toledo's term ends.
According to a poll by Apoyo published in El Comercio newspaper in April 2005, García had a popularity rating of 21%, behind Valentín Paniagua, who was the leading candidate for the 2006 elections, with a 23% popularity rating. Lourdes Flores Nano of the Popular Christian Party (PPC) was in third place with 17% and Alberto Andrade (former mayor of Lima) of We Are Peru (SP) trailed with 7%.
According to a poll published in La Republica newspaper in Oct 2005, García went down to a popularity rating of 13.8%, whereas Valentín Paniagua remained with a 23% popularity rating. Lourdes Flores Nano of the Popular Christian Party (PPC) was the leading candidate with 32.8%. Alberto Andrade, the former mayor of Lima, of We Are Peru (SP) party trailed with 7%.
Alan García is a member of the Socialist International.