Peru Swears In Humala as President

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 12:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Ollanta Humala has been sworn in as the new president of Peru, succeeding outgoing President Alan Garcia.

Mr. Humala was elected on promises he would more evenly distribute the country's mining wealth and the profits of the country's recent economic growth. Thirty percent of Peruvians currently live below the poverty line.

A number of South American leaders attended Thursday's inauguration ceremony, including the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. The secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, and the U.S. ambassador to Peru were also expected to attend.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, was not expected to attend the ceremony.

Mr. Humala was elected this past June in a runoff, defeating Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori.

Mr. Humala made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2006. At the time, he opposed a free trade agreement with the United States and pledged to limit foreign investment in Peru. Mr. Humala has since moderated his political discourse, and has pledged to follow Brazil's market-friendly model.

President-elect Humala is a leftist former army officer who launched a failed military coup in 2000 against then-President Fujimori. His inauguration coincides with Peru's Independence Day.