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Toledo's Peru

Vision and Reality

Ronald Bruce St John

Publication Year: 2010

Alejandro Toledo was elected president of Peru in 2001, ending the corrupt rule of Alberto Fujimori. Limited to a single term, Toledo capitalized on his indigenous roots and his identification with the lower and middle classes. Enjoying widespread support when he took office, by mid-term Toledo suffered approval ratings even lower than Fujimori's. By the time the 2006 elections took place, Toledo's popularity was among the highest of any outgoing president in the history of Peru.

Ronald Bruce St John explores the policies of the Toledo administration to discover why his presidency was such a roller coaster ride. He examines the various tent poles of Toledo's political platform, concluding with a "report card" that tallies the successes and failures of Toledo's presidency. St John was granted unprecedented access to Toledo and his closest advisors, and he has used those interviews along with a wealth of other primary documents to reveal fascinating insights into the rule of a man eager for Peru to transition from an authoritarian government to a true democracy.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xii

The population of Peru exceeds 28 million people, 31 percent of whom are below the age of fourteen. Approximately 45 percent of the population is Amerindian, with another 37 percent mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white), an additional 15 percent...


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pp. xiii-xx

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xxi-xxiv

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-11

The end of the Cold War in 1990–91 led to early optimism in Washington about the creation of a new world order in which the United States and Latin America would pursue shared interests in a spirit of cooperation. According to this argument, the Cold War had long...

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2. Meet Alejandro Toledo

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pp. 12-32

Alejandro Toledo, as a presidential candidate and later as a president, was many things to many people. As a presidential candidate, his rags-to-riches story made him a darling of the international press, as well as among lower-class voters who looked to him as a role...

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3. Market Economics with a Human Face

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pp. 33-63

The macroeconomic policies followed by the Toledo administration were highly successful. In continuing the orthodox economic approach initiated by Fujimori, President Toledo brought five years of strong economic growth to Peru. Laboring under the weight of a prolonged economic failure that stretched back several decades, he was less successful...

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4. The Politics of Rebuilding

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pp. 64-108

President Toledo was a strong advocate of democratic values, institutions, and rights, and his administration achieved considerable success in reestablishing them in Peru. He was less successful in implementing the reforms necessary to rebuild the institutional...

[Images Plates]

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5. The Fight for Equality

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pp. 109-136

At the outset of the Toledo administration, there was widespread agreement in Peru on the need for the state to strengthen its capacity to offer wider social services. The agenda included pressing issues related to education, health care, housing, indigenous rights...

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6. Storm Clouds over the Andes

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pp. 137-161

After 2001, the diplomatic relations of Peru with its fellow Andean states mirrored the old and the new as the Toledo administration addressed both familiar issues and fresh ones generated by a region increasingly torn by socioeconomic and political change. Outstanding...

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7. Connecting with the Outside World

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pp. 162-185

Throughout his administration, President Toledo actively pursued nine related foreign-policy goals. First, he promoted democracy and human rights inside and outside Peru. The struggle against poverty, especially extreme poverty, was a second goal, an initiative Toledo...

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8. Peru 2006, a Report Card

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pp. 186-200

Even after a thorough review of the Toledo administration, it still remains difficult to evaluate the significance and the impact of the Toledo presidency. Much went right between 2001 and 2006, and much went wrong. For that reason, one is tempted to adopt a Chinese...

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pp. 201-206

Following the completion of his first term in office, President Toledo and his family returned to his alma mater, Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where he was appointed Distinguished Visitor in Residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the...


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pp. 207-230


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pp. 231-246


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pp. 247

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About the Author

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pp. 254

Ronald Bruce St John first visited Peru in 1968 as a Shell Foundation Fellow to research a Ph.D. dissertation on Peruvian foreign policy. The work begun during this time was later...

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048086
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813035215
Print-ISBN-10: 081303521X

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 24 b&w photos, 3 tables, map
Publication Year: 2010