Postcard from... Lima
Another step forward for Peru's fragile democracy, still recovering from President Alberto Fujimori's mass larceny and crimes against humanity in the 1990s.
That is how most commentators here are interpreting the result of Sunday's recall election of Lima's first female mayor, Susana Villaran, a moderate leftist and former human rights campaigner. According to exit polls, she narrowly beat off the recall, launched after just two years in office during which she has rolled up her sleeves and taken on entrenched municipal corruption and the related Gordian knot of Lima's catastrophic public transport system, possibly the worst in the Americas.
Using a poorly drafted law aimed at corrupt officials, a shadowy group of characters, including the former mayor Luis Castaned, launched the recall late last year with a nebulous series of complaints, claiming Ms Villaran was "doing nothing" while in office. Nicknamed "the mute" for his dislike of public statements, Mr Castaneda and his cohorts stand accused of profiting from backroom deals while residents suffer three-hour commutes packed like sardines in dangerous, polluting minivans known as "combis".
But what appears to have swung it was the vocal support for Ms Villaran from Lourdes Flores, her defeated opponent in the 2011 mayoral elections and leader of the People's Christian Party, which has a long tradition of standing up to corruption.
More than anything else, that allowed Ms Villaran to paint the recall as a non-ideological struggle between decency and graft.
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding: The famous congratulate actor and human rights lawyer after Venice nuptials
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...
£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...