WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

“None of the Above”: Peru’s Fragmented Politics and the April 11 Elections

03:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, 6 April 2021

(AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) cordially invites you to a webinar on Peru’s upcoming elections:

Peruvians go to the polls on April 11, 2021, to elect a new president and a new Congress. Popular rejection of “politics as usual” is cresting, fueled by high-level corruption, a woefully inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising poverty, hunger, and inequality. While there are some 20 candidates vying for the presidency, poll after poll shows that more than 30 percent of people say they won’t vote for any of them. The top six candidates are vying to rise above the crowded field to make it into the second-round vote in June, where the winner will ultimately be decided among the top two contenders. The widespread distrust of Peru’s political class and the lack of confidence in the country’s democratic institutions point to a complicated governing task for whichever presidential candidates emerge to contest a second round. 

To better understand the context and the consequences for democracy and human rights in Peru, WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt will lead a discussion about Peru’s upcoming elections with Peruvian journalists Gustavo Gorriti and Paola Ugaz.

Event Details: 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. EDT 


Gustavo Gorriti


Reporters: Institute of Legal Defense (IDL-Reporteros)

Paola Ugaz

Spain ABC Correspondent in Peru


Jo-Marie Burt

Senior Fellow, WOLA

Gustavo Gorriti is an award-winning journalist and director of IDL-Reporteros. He has produced groundbreaking reporting on Peru’s internal armed conflict, drug trafficking, and grand corruption. In 1992, after then-president Alberto Fujimori shut down Congress in a “self-coup,” Gorriti was kidnapped by government forces and held incommunicado until international pressure secured his release. In 2009, a Peruvian court convicted Fujimori for ordering Gorriti’s kidnapping along with other grave human rights violations, and sentenced Fujimori to 25 years in prison. Follow his work on Twitter @IDL-Reporters.

Paola Ugaz is a journalist and currently a correspondent for ABC of Spain in Peru. She is the author of the books Punche Peru and Chincaqkuna: The Disappeared of Peru and co-author, with Pedro Salinas, of Half Monks, Half Soldiers, which examines the ideology and organization of the conservative religious group, Sodalicio de la Vida Cristiana, through interviews with former members who allege a series of abuses, including physical and sexual abuse. She continues to face legal persecution for her reporting on these issues. Follow her on Twitter @Larryportera.

Jo-Marie Burt is associate professor of political science at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and Senior Fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). She served as an investigator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru, and as an international observer for WOLA in the human rights trial of former president Alberto Fujimori. Her book, Violence and Authoritarianism in Peru: Under the Shadow of Sendero and the Fujimori Dictatorship, was published by the Institute for Peruvian Studies in a second edition in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @jomaburt.

Watch the event recording here.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available from Spanish to English on Zoom only. This event was livestreamed on WOLA’s YouTube page.