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Sundays Top 5 presidential candidates

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1. Lourdes Flores

Lourdes Flores was born in Lima on October 7th, 1959. She studied law at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She pursued graduate studies in Madrid were she received masters from the Instituto de Empresa and a doctorate from the Universidad Complutense. As an independent lawyer, Flores specialized in Civil and Business Law.
At age 18, she joined the Popular Christian Party, a conservative branch of the Christian Democracy movement founded in 1966. Flores was elected National Deputy from Lima to the Congress of the Republic in 1990 with more than 250 000 votes. During that election, the PPC formed part of the FREDEMO front backing Mario Vargas Llosa for president.
She opposed the 1992 "self-coup” of Alberto Fujimori organizing meetings in her home. She was elected to the constituent congress later that year and re-elected to congress in 1995. In 2000, Lourdes Flores led the PPC in joining with the Partido Renovación and Partido Solidaridad Nacional to form the Unidad Nacional electoral alliance. She ran for president in 2001, but finished in third place. She is currently second in the polls in the presidential race scheduled for 9 April 2006.

2. Alan Garcia

Alan García was born on 23 May 1949, as a son of a family of the Peruvian middle class. Its family was closely connected with the left party APRA already. García went to school at the Colegio Nacional José María Eguren in the borough Barranco of Lima. When he turned seventeen years, he received the membership card of the party.
On 14 April 1985 Alan García was elected as Peruvian president with 45% of the votes. He was only 35 years old at this time and the first president of the APRA party since the establishment of party. Its government was strongly disputed, even if he impressed in the first years by his youth and authority, the results of the economical policies as harmful and as causal for the largest economic crisis of Peru.
Anoter topic was the terrorism, which had begun under Garcías predecessor Fernando Belaunde Terry, but under García´s government between the years 1986 and 1988 reached its highest point. In 1986 many terrorists were murdered in several prisons of Lima, until today he is reproached because he ignored the people´s rights. The purge of its government authority began with the attempt to put the banks under state control. The hyperinflation reached 1722% in the year 1988 and 2776% in the following year. At the beginning of the year 1990 this indicator jumped on 7649%. The Peruvian currency (Sol) was replaced first by the Inti and then by the nuevo Sol. A new Sol corresponded finally billion to old Soles.
In the year 1991 Alan García was placed under the reproach of illegitimate enriching before court. García asked the Colombian government for the grant of political asylum, afterwards it was in France were he lived many years.
In 2001 García returned to Peru. He is presidential candidate for the elections 2006.

3. Ollanta Humala

He was born on 27 June 1963, Ollanta Humala is the second of seven brothers of a family from Ayacucho. The father is the founding ideologist of the call etnocacerismo, an ultranationalist doctrine that raises the Inka past. In agreement with this idea, Isaac gave his children Inka names like Pachacutec, Ima Sumac, Cusicollur, Ollanta or Antauro.
He studied in the Peruvian-Japanese School the Union of Lima, his military education began in 1982 at the Military school of Chorrillos. In 1983 he studied at the School of the Americas .
In 1992 Humala served in Tingo Maria in Huanuco fighting the terrorists of the Shinnig Path, were he presumably committed abuses against the civils, reason for which he is questioned nowadays.
During that period between 2001 and 2002 he followed masters in Political Science in the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and an accelerated course of national defense in the CAEN. He was attache in France and in South Korea until December 2004.
He is the leader of the Peruvian Nationalistic Party, the origin of this ideology comes from his father Isaac Humala, who designed ideas based on the racism. He has declared his admiration for Velasco Alvarado, the leftist dictatorship from the Military Government (1968-1980). Humala has a strong leadership in the South zone of the country due to its critic to the neoliberal model and the traditional political parties that, according to him, have not managed to fill the expectations of the population.

4. Valentín Paniagua Corazao

Valentín Paniagua Corazao was born on 23 September 1936 in Cusco, where he went to high school at the Colegio Nacional de Ciencias. He studied Law at the Universidad Nacional San Antoni Abad in Cuzco and later at the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos in Lima. He finished there a specialization in Constitutional Law. In the following years, he worked in his private practice as lawyer and also started a political career.
In August 1955, as a student leader, he was one of the founders of the Frente Universitario Reformista Independiente, a social-Christian reform organization, opposed to the landowners right, to the communists and to the APRA. Paniagua became a member of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), which was best aligned to his Roman Catholic and reformist ideals.
In June 1963 he was elected to Congress as a representative for Cuzco in the joint list of Acción Popular (AP) and PDC, an alliance that led the leader of AP, Fernando Belaunde Terry to the Presidency of the country. Despite his youth, Belaúnde appointed him Minister of Justice and Culture in his first government. The coup d´etat of General Juan Velasco Alvarado on October 3, 1968, took Paniagua out of Congress and for some years he was left out of politics. His loyalty to the constitutional legality of Belaúnde led him to abandon the PDC on July 27, 1974, in protest for its acceptance of the military government. Some time later he became a member of AP and kept on a civil protest against Velasco and his successor General Francisco Morales Bermudez.
In the elections of May 18, 1980, he was re-elected to Congress, and his party boss Belaúnde, won his second presidency. On May 10, 1985, he became Minister of Education but in October of that year he resigned to return to his parliamentary activities. He was given the Orden del Sol in the Gran Cruz grade.
The defeat of AP in the April 14, 1985 elections and arrival to power of APRA represented by Alan García sent Paniagua to the opposition. Over the following five years he remained a strong foe of the Government and worked as a prestigious lawyer in the academic and political circles, as well as professor of constitutional law at the universities of San Marcos, Femenina del Sagrado Corazón and Pontificia Católica.
In the National Elections of 1990, together with most of AP, he supported the candidacy of Mario Vargas Llosa for President. When Alberto Fujimori was elected President, Paniagua was part of the opposition, but became a strong opponent after Fujimori’s auto-coup in April 1992.
He was elected by the Peruvian Congress to serve as interim President of the country after Alberto Fujimori resigned in November 2000.
He is running as presidential candidate for the 2006 election, he is representative of the party Frente de Centro.

5. Martha Chávez Cossío de Ocampo

Martha Chavez was born in January 12, 1953 in Lima. She is studied Law, she is a Peruvian politician who is running for president in the 2006 elections as representative of the party Alliance for the Future.
She is known as a strong ally of former president Alberto Fujimori and her running-mate in the upcoming election is Santiago Fujimori, Alberto Fujimori’s brother.
In addition to Alliance for the Future, Chávez is also affiliated with Alberto Fujimori’s party Si Cumple. Currently Chávez sits as a member of Congress representing the Province of Lima.
While Chávez backs Fujimori’s own bid for the presidency, she decided to run a separate campaign after the Special Electoral Jury banned Fujimori’s name from the ballot, citing a political and congressional ban on his participation in Peruvian politics until 2011.

(Source: The above information about the the 5 candidates was found in Wikipedia)

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Originally from Denmark, Carsten returned to Peru in 2002 with his wife and eldest son. He started LivinginPeru.com in 2005, among other ventures in Peru. Before this, Carsten has worked in tourism, living in France, Sicily, and the U.S., and promoted bands like Metallica, Def Leppard and U2 for PolyGram Records (now Universal Music). Carsten loves pisco sours, Peru’s cuisine, and traveling with his family within Peru, a country that he believes is the land of opportunities.