From the first time I heard her speak, on top of a balcony in the Plaza Bolognesi, in Lima, many years ago, I thought that the Christian Socialist Lourdes Flores Nano would be a magnificent president of Peru. Things have not happened that way, but, if she had won the presidential election that she contested with Alan García, I suspect that Lourdes would have kept his promises and that García would probably be alive (he committed suicide when he was going to be arrested).
I heard her speak on a television program about the controversial issue of electoral “fraud” that would have marked the second round of the Peruvian elections. She, who is a lawyer, with a group of colleagues had explored this matter. He firmly asserted that they had unequivocally warned in the towns of the sierra that they had studied, that there were many false signatures on the corresponding minutes and a suspicious increase in the vote for candidate Castillo in the second round, the final one. . Lourdes Flores accepts the law in force in Peru, which places in the four members of the National Elections Jury all the responsibility for deciding whether these elections reflect the “truth” or distort it. And he added, exhorting the four judges, with a somewhat smelly Peruvianism that echoed nostalgically in my ears: “Be brave, do not remove the body of the syringe.” Hopefully not.
The investigation carried out by Lourdes Flores Nano and the group of lawyers that accompanies her focuses on the case of some small towns in the Peruvian highlands, representative of a specific geographical area. The first thing they investigated was whether there were traces of “false signatures”. For that, they used an expert graphologist who submitted those records to a morphological examination and charged them $ 120 for the work. In all of them he found traces of signature forgeries, sometimes that of the head of the electoral table. On the other hand, the examination of these minutes shows a very clear trend: while the votes that Keiko Fujimori had obtained in the first round disappeared in the second, the votes thus cast passed in the second to swell the candidacy of Pedro Castillo. Lourdes Flores has asked, with good judgment, that the four members of the National Elections Jury submit to the same examination the more than 800 contested acts that have been presented against the second round vote, for the sake of “electoral truth.” The important thing is not to have a president of the Republic who is a humble Andean, as some correspondents believe that the European newspapers have in Peru, but to have whom the majority of Peruvian voters have elected and not a fraudulent president. This matter is the ferment of all kinds of speculation and symptoms of violence in Peru, and, unless the National Elections Jury proceeds with the seriousness and responsibility that Flores Nano demands of it, violence can erupt once more, as soon as it is know the electoral ruling. Before this happens, everything is preferable. Some claim, among the possible solutions, that of canceling the defective election and calling again a definitive election, surrounded, this yes, of the vigilance that stops any deformation at the table of the genuine electoral results. But former Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano maintains that this alternative is unconstitutional.
The observers sent by the OAS (Organization of American States) to Peru were undoubtedly rushed by declaring that these elections were “clean” and congratulating the Peruvian government for this. All the indications – in addition to the investigation of Flores Nano and his group of lawyers – reveal that this congratulation was somewhat hasty and, as she put it, “very diplomatic.”
The group of jurists who represents Keiko Fujimori, and who is now accompanied by an eminent man of law who is beyond good and evil, is widely respected and has impeccable democratic credentials for their role in the 90s —Dr. Óscar Urviola— , has contested more than 200,000 votes, for having been obtained through manipulations such as those denounced by Dr. Flores Nano. The National Elections Jury, after resisting to review the contested minutes, an enormous task, seems to have agreed to review some and is now imbued with that responsibility. It is essential that you review them all. Whatever the ruling, it is obvious, in the high climate that prevails in Peru, that there will be protests and there could be violent actions on the part of supporters of the defeated candidate.
My impression, from far away Madrid and through the multiple and contradictory information that reaches me, is, more and more every day, that there have been serious irregularities, and this, above all, based not so much on the candidate Pedro Castillo, but on many members of the party that launched him to the presidency; The leader could not be a candidate because he was vetoed by the judiciary, accused of having extended his hand more than he should during his government in Junín. I am referring to Vladimir Cerrón, owner of the Peru Libre party, and who will be, if Castillo wins, the true power behind the throne. Mr. Cerrón, who is a doctor and lived in Cuba for ten years, had the audacity to proclaim, before his supporters, that he was a “Marxist, Leninist and mariateguist” and that, therefore, in the manner of Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua, he would not leave power at the end of his term (which in Peru is five years). That famous phrase, of course, set off alarms in many Peruvian homes. On the other hand, there is a recording circulating in which the Cerrón representative instructor urges his colleagues to appear at the tables at five in the morning and occupy them before the table members chosen by lottery do so.
Thanks to people like Mr. Vladimir Cerrón and some of his supporters, whom, listening to them speak, one has the sensation of listening to Stalinist policemen, these Peruvian elections have nothing to do with those that have taken place so far in our history. , because in this it is not about changing people or parties, but about the regime. If Mr. Castillo wins, we already know: Peru will be a second Venezuela in a few years, or there will be a strong confrontation in which at least half of Peruvians will fight to defend their democracy and the freedom that accompanies it, because This regimen, although insufficient and badly injured by the coronavirus pandemic, can be improved. While the communist system does not, as Russia proved, with the disappearance of the USSR, and People’s China, which has become an authoritarian capitalist regime. In Russia respectful capitalists are authorized, and only those who are disrespectful to the regime are persecuted and disqualified (or murdered). With its usual discretion, the axis of the countries that aspire to cast their claws on Peru has been very prudent throughout this process and has delegated to the Bolivian Evo Morales to make the fraternal praise of the “Peruvian brother” who aspire to remote control in the future, even if it is through fraud and manipulation where Keiko Fujimori’s representatives could not reach: there are abundant testimonies, in the mountains and the jungle, that they were intimidated or expelled from the tables to which they were summoned. But perhaps those regimes rushed to claim victory. Nothing has yet been decided in Peru and the example of Lourdes Flores and Óscar Urviola shows this.
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© Mario Vargas Llosa, 2021.