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Peru: the commies are coming!

27 May 2021

Yeah, this is MEXfiles, not PERUfiles, but worth noting. Like here, and elsewhere, it’s the upstart leftist parties that are pushing the old establishment parties to the fringes. In Peru, it’s Peru Libre, a “Marxist-Leninist and Maríateguist” (Maríategue was a Peruvian Communist philospher, who argued that in Latin America, European theories of proletarian revolution needed to be adjusted to the realities of the culture here.) that surprised everyone when, with only 20% of the vote in the first round for the upcoming presidential election, it came in first (not too hard with 30 parties on the ballot), followed by the standard bearer of the old guard and establishment, the proto-fascist Keiko Fujamori, the daughter of disgraced former dictator, Alberto Fujamori.

Peru is the county where one-time presidential candidate (and world establishment favorite) Mario Vargas Llosa described a previous election (in which Fujimori fille also faced a “radical leftist”) as the choice between dying of cancer and dying of AIDS. Which disease is Fujimori’s and which is rural school teacher and union leader Pedro Castillo’s is best left to the Peruvian electorate. But the powers that be, among others, opt for not dying of whatever it is Castillo has.

Which, according to the not always accurate latest Peruvian poll, is what’s going to happen. An IPSOS/Ameríca Television poll has Castillo leading Fijimori by a comfortable 4 percent (52 to 48) with indications that his support is growing (and, taking into account that it’s difficult or nearly impossible to poll in some rural areas, where Castillo has the most support).

Fujimori polls much better when it comes to the nitty-gritty of politics (knowledge of the media, professional teams, etc.) and knowledge of the business community. On the other hand, for all his Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, it has to be remembered that Castillo’s rise in public affairs was as a union organizer and negotiator… suggesting a more pragmatic as opposed to ideological driven style, opposed to Fujimori … a “legacy” candidate’s background as a business owner.

What got Mexfiles thinking about Peru… besides noticing a rejection of “politics as usual” here and throughout Latin America (and the inevitable attemps to turn back the clock to “normal”… i.e. corrupt and elitist… political discourse) is that, despite having neither the money nor the knowledge to even risk a modest amount in mining stocks, Mexfiles is a huge fanboy of Inca Kola News, a mining investment newsletter and blog coming out of Lima.

Without any background or information on the issues involved, “Otto’s” two latest posts show why I expect Castillo will be the next president. Although he has been warning of a downturn in the value of Peruvian mining stocks (or, rather, investments that include Peruvian assets, especially in copper) and that investors are wise to consider their options, one company’s shares have been rising considerably… in good part for the simple reason they’re not dicks… they’re “responsible” miners (as responsible as is possible in a dirty, exploitative industry), playing by the rules set by the Peruvian state, not over-exploiting their labor force, and so on… while at the same time, another Canadian operation is pulling out of the country, and no one … neither the workers, nor the investors… would be sorry to see them go.

In short, the “good” miner (Element 29 Resources) “…wasn’t conceived by dirtbags as a way of ripping off idiots and turning director paper into dollars as quickly as possible.” And, something any investor (or “expat” with a business plan) should remember… governments change, the left is rising and… no matter who is in charge, or in what country:

“Once the shock of change is over, track records and [a history] as a good corporate or social citizen will matter most. Payback time for bad actors? Well yeah maybe, but this is less about upcoming acts of vengeance and more when national policies affect local stakeholders, companies with strong track records will be defended by locals, rather than attacked.”

Actualadad, IKN.

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