Peru’s President: Why Does His Family Hate Him?

The undisputed anti-Humala leader is the family patriarch, Isaac Humala, a self-described Andean Marxist who calls for the “copper race,” his term for indigenous Peruvians, to rule the country because they are intellectually superior to “white Europeans, black Africans and yellow Asians.”

His father says his son has failed. His mother espouses extreme views. His sister sides with a brother in jail. Even the opposition media is embarrassed for President Ollanta Humala.

Peru’s President Ollanta Humala arrives to pay homage to Nancy Flores at the airport of Lima on April 13, 2012.

Pity the poor president of Peru. Barely a day goes by without calls for the resignation of this or that member of his cabinet; vociferous complaints about government policy pop up one after the other; bilious public criticism abounds that, just 11 months into office, Ollanta Humala, 50, is already a failed president. And the source of the bile: the President’s own family.

Indeed, the barrage of attacks from Humala’s clan is more vicious than anything mustered so far by the opposition. The tone is such that one opposition daily, Correo, which is no fan of the Humala administration, announced in May that it would no longer cover the president’s father out of respect for the presidency. “It is quite extraordinary. There have been differences in families over ideologies, but nothing like we have seen with Humala. There are not only differences, but outright antagonism,” says Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue.


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