The Fujimori Regime and Economic Growth in the 21st Century
Alberto Fujimori was first elected in 1990. In 1992, he made the controversial decision to dissolve the Peruvian congress, giving himself complete control of the government. He also privatized previously state-owned businesses as part of an economic strategy nicknamed “Fuji-shock.” This venture did help the fragile economy, but it also worsened the quality of life for many poor Peruvians.
Fujimori’s authoritarian style did not go over well with most Peruvians. In 2000, in the midst of growing public disapproval, Fujimori was caught bribing a congressman. He fled to Japan, but was captured and extradited to Peru in 2009. The Supreme Court sentenced him to 25 years in jail for a long list of offenses, including profiting from drug trafficking and kidnapping.
21st Century Economic Growth
Alejandro Toledo took over from Fujimori in 2001. He was the first president of indigenous descent. His presidency marked the beginning of a period of economic growth. In 2006, Alan García was re-elected. During his presidency, he continued the beneficial economic policies that Toledo began. Overall, Peru enjoyed rapid economic growth between 2002 and 2011.
In 2011, Ollanto Humala was elected president. His presidency has been marked by a commitment to helping Peru’s most poverty-stricken population. He established the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, a government entity meant to ensure that Peru’s poorest people could participate in all of the country’s social programs.