June 3, 2006
After three days of violent protests, the government decided to give in to all of the demands. Aside from more funding, the most notable reform proposal to be sent to Congress is putting all public schools under the direct authority of the national government. Since the Pinochet dicatorship, public schools have been under local control, as is the case in the United States, resulting in unequal funding levels from one district to the next. See CNN.com. The quick retreat by the government will put new President Michelle Bachelet in a weaker negotiating position the next time such a challenge comes along.
As the historic second-round presidential elections in Peru are about to begin, the Washington Post explains Ollanta Humala's "secret weapon": the widespread feelings of distrust and resentment toward the (mostly white) elite in Peru by those who are of mostly Indian ancestry. That may distort the opinion survey findings, so Alan Garcia's supposed double-digit lead may be much less than that.