by James M. Roberts, Edwar Enrique Escalante
The Heritage Foundation
April 09, 2014
When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. During his first presidential run in 2006, Humala had donned the mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left. So although Humala lost the 2006 election and then moved to the center and won as a more moderate-sounding candidate when he ran again in 2011, no one knew for sure how he would govern. Now the world knows that Humala has stayed the course for economic freedom, keeping policies in place that have allowed Peru to realize significant gains in trade freedom. Nevertheless, Peru’s political and economic institutions remain chronically underdeveloped. Humala’s concern for poverty alleviation is well known, but the best way to help the poorest in Peru is to expand economic freedom. That cannot be done without strong institutions to protect property rights and enforce contracts.