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Political Problems Bedevil Toledo

Oct 5, 2003

Despite Peru's strong economic record, its president is very unpopular and investors are frustrated by his policy indecision.

Alejandro Toledo

Alejandro Toledo had plenty to crow about when he addressed the Council of the Americas in New York on a gray September afternoon.

He could have boasted that Peru posted the region's highest economic growth rate last year, and is likely to rank second in 2003. He could have pointed out that Peru's current account deficit has narrowed and that its international reserves are rising.

But Toledo wasn't basking in his economic record. Instead, he said, "We have been a good student, put our house in order economically, but the people are unsatisfied because we haven't been able to translate growth into poverty reduction and jobs." This explains why the country is in such an angry mood and why Toledo is so unpopular. His public approval rating sank to around 11% in August, a month after he dismissed his second cabinet since taking office in 2001. He got...

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