Peru Election 2006

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Biography: Antauro Humala

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Biography: Antauro Humala

Former army Major (retired) Antauro Humala, the younger brother of Ollanta Humala, holds the number 2 slot in the congressional list in a small political party, called Avanza Pais – Partido de Integración Social (literally, To Advance Country — Party of Social Integration). The presidential candidate for Avanza Pais is Ulises Humala, the older brother of Ollanta. Antauro Humala calls himself the leader of the “Ethnocacerista Movement” (named after Andres Avelino Caceres, a soldier and president of Peru in the 19th century who is regarded as a national war hero). He advocates a radical version of nationalism that has strong overtones of ethnic pride and xenophobia (particularly directed at Chile).
Antauro Humala participated with his brother Ollanta in a military uprising in Moquegua, in the south of Peru in late October and early November of 2000. At the time, Alberto Fujimori had already agreed to step down from office. The uprising coincided with the day that Fujimori’s security advisor Vladimiro Montesinos fled Peru in a boat en route to Panama and later Venezuela. The uprising was to protest against corruption senior officers of the armed forces connected to Montesinos. The rebellion fizzled, but it elicited broad public sympathy which has since been used by the Humala brothers to build their political careers.
Ollanta Humala was pardoned by Congress, but not given command over troops. Instead, he was removed from Peru and sent to France and then South Korea as a military attaché before being forced to retire. The retirement of Ollanta Humala from the armed forces may have been a motivating factor in the decision by Antauro Humala to take up arms yet again. In January 2005, he led hundreds of supporters in an armed assault on a police station in Andahuaylas. They took hostages and demanded the resignation of President Alejandro Toledo. Four police officers were killed in the assault, and Antauro was arrested. He is currently being held in prison with 159 other co-conspirators while Judge Patricia Overluijs investigates his case. He is accused of rebellion, kidnapping, homicide, and illegally snatching firearms from the police station.
The relationship between Ollanta Humala and Antauro is a controversial one. There is some evidence that Ollanta Humala had prior knowledge of the plans for an uprising in Andahuaylas, and may even have suggested Andahuaylas as the best location for such an action. Moreover, his initial reaction to the uprising was supportive. However, he quickly backed away from his initial support and has since then broken his relationship with his brother. Indeed, as Ollanta Humala has risen in the polls he has tended to distance himself from all the other members of his family. The break between Antauro caused an outcry among military reservists who regard both as heroes.
From his prison cell in Piedra Gordas, near Lima, Antauro Humala has played a role in this election disproportionate to his chances of being elected. He has reportedly made controversial statements such as calling for the assassination of prominent democratic leaders, including Alejandro Toledo, Valentin Paniagua, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Humala has been asked whether he would offer Antauro Humala a presidential pardon should he be elected. He says he would not.

Written by Michael Ha

April 2nd, 2006 at 9:08 pm

Posted in B

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