What is the essence of your economic
I have tried to do is to comply with my duty. As President of
the Republic, my duty is to go all out and not fail to meet the
expectations the Peruvian people have of me.
the economic issue, I do not think that any government policy
can be successful if we do not have a successful economy. It is
like in a family: economic stability in a family allows for
stability, peace of mind and development so that there can be a
I took over the presidency there was a great deal of
uncertainty. There were sectors that had power in the past,
de facto power, that immediately wanted to pressure
the administration, but we have not accepted any kind of
are following a new focus. We believe it is important to
strengthen and foster the country’s economic
growth, but if this growth is not distributed to everyone it
serves no purpose. Economic growth is to have money in the
treasury, but development is about quality of life. We need to
solve this equation.
LF: How, specifically, are you seeking to do
have created a social policy for the country by transforming
existing social programs, with two main approaches. The first
approach is multi-sectoral, with all ministers having a role in
social inclusion within social programs. The second is a
territorial focus. This is being carried out with regional
governments and mayors from the different regions of the
country. It is one thing to consider the problem of healthcare
from the point of view of the sector or within the ministry; it
is another to see healthcare from the perspective of a mayor or
regional government. It is like the difference between an X-ray
and a CAT-scan.
inherited a series of social programs that were disjointed,
that did not share goals or have clear objectives. These
programs in many cases acted independently and, even worse,
were often run without a technical focus that gives a program
meaning. Instead, they were politicized. The governing party
would include their people in the programs and turn them into a
source of political clientelism.
have radically changed this. We saw the need to create a new
ministry, the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion
(MIDIS) that has allowed us to organize social programs, in
some cases restructuring, and in others creating, new
addition, each sector has a program, or implementing agency,
that allows it to contribute to social programs. The Ministry
of Energy and Mines, for example, has the Energy Social
Inclusion Fund (FISE), which is a new program that provides
economic assistance to families living in extreme poverty so
that they use gas to replace wood or coal. It is helping to
make the use of gas more widespread, curb illegal deforestation
and minimize the use coal.
LF: Some would say that today as president you are a changed
man from the Ollanta Humala of 2006.
began by saying that I would comply with my duty. What I am
doing is complying with my duty, which is to follow through on
policies that are completely coherent with the
offer the Peruvian public social inclusion. The economic model
cannot only be focused on growth. The famous trickle down
theory – if you fill the pockets of the rich and it
will spill over – does not work because the pockets
you are filling have holes. I promised social inclusion, which
is development hand-in-hand with growth. We need to sustain
growth. We cannot kill the goose that lays the golden egg, but
create the conditions for it to lay more eggs.
correcting what I criticized as a candidate. I said I would
create a windfall tax on mining and this is one of the first
things I did as president. We created the mining tax
(gravamen minero), but unlike those who did not know
me, who thought I was going to do it based on coercive methods,
with threats of nationalization, I did it through dialogue with
the companies, by explaining the country’s
is important that companies have a favourable environment for
their investments. And that’s what we did.
That’s it: I am complying with my duty.
say that there are two Ollantas, one the candidate, the other
the president. But that is not true: I am the same person who
wants to follow through on my commitment.
a military man and something I learned about strategy is that
the best battle to win is the one that is not fought. There are
pyrrhic victories where you end up as badly as if you had lost.
I do not look for too many battles but when I enter the
battlefield it is because I have trained to win. I do not fight
battles that I don’t think I will win.
as president I prioritize what I need to do over what I want to
do. Finally, when you assume the presidency, there are some
obligations that are not written. One of these is to unite
Peru, not divide it.
LF: The confidence that Peru’s economic
miracle has inspired is astounding. How will you maintain
today’s growth levels? Do you see any risks amid
Click through to read Humala' comments on taxes, protectionism,
his legacy and his regrets