Competent, Committed and Controversial

Oct 1, 2001

With three decades of finance experience and long alliance with Peru's president and finance minister, newly appointed Prime Minister Roberto Dañino could add another shot of credibility to Toledo's administration. But critics view Dañino as an opportunistic outsider.

Meeting Roberto Dañino it's natural to ask why a Washington-based lawyer on a $140,000-a-month pay package would give it up to become prime minister of Peru, a $14,000-a-month job with 'headache' written all over it.

Typical of Dañino, a business veteran who plainly relishes a challenge, he shrugs off the question with a smile. "Coming from a six-acre mansion [in a wealthy suburb of Washington] to live in a 200-meter apartment in Lima is a little bit of a shock," he says. "For my children it has been a sacrifice. For me it is the privilege of a million lifetimes."

When the call came from Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo two months ago inviting Dañino ('Bobby' to his friends) to be the lynchpin of his new government, the 50-year-old lawyer accepted without hesitation. Within 72 hours of the call, he left his international law...

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