Venezuela Contributed To Peru Humala’s 2006 Campaign – ReportIASW | Thursday, May 12th, 2011 | 4 Comments »
BY ROBERT KOZAK
LIMA - An email sent by a deceased Colombian guerrilla leader indicated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s government had “invested” in Ollanta Humala’s 2006 election campaign for Peru’s presidency.
Humala, a left-wing nationalist currently running neck-and-neck in a June 5 runoff for president against conservative Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori, lost the 2006 election to President Alan Garcia.
Humala has denied receiving any funding from Venezuela for his election campaigns.
The issue is potentially significant, as foreign governments aren’t allowed to fund political movements in Peru.
The email mentioning the funding was released by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, or IISS, which studied computer files seized in 2008 from the slain commander of Colombia’s largest insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
The electronic message sent by Raul Reyes, as the guerilla leader was known, to the FARC’s secretariat around July 13, 2006 reads: “They [the Chavez government] invested resources in the presidential campaign of Ollanta Humala in Peru, but they lost, although this man has the backing of an important politico- electoral sector.”
A spokesman for Humala’s Gana Peru party, Congressman Daniel Abugattas, said Wednesday the allegation of funding from Venezuela was a sort of “social- psychological” operation aimed at harming Humala’s reputation.
Former Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski also recently alleged Venezuela provided funding for Humala’s 2006 campaign, saying that intelligence reports showed funds came into Peru in suitcases protected by diplomatic immunity.
Kuczynski, who ran an unsuccessful bid for president this year, was prime minister from August 2005 to July 2006.
Humala told reporters in late April that Kuczynski’s account was a “made up story.”
Humala’s wife, Nadine Heredia, who is also secretary in charge of international affairs for Humala’s party, received about $4,000 a month for consulting work from a now-defunct English-language Caracas-based newspaper, The Daily Journal, which was pro-Chavez.
Heredia told Peruvian newspaper La Republica in 2009 that she provided consulting services to the Venezuelan newspaper from the start of 2007. “The work didn’t have anything to do with political interests nor with the Chavez government,” she added at the time.
Chavez gave strong verbal support to Humala during his run for president in 2006. In this race he has called Humala a “good Peruvian soldier,” although Humala has worked hard to distance himself from Chavez.
Humala is working with advisers from Brazil to fashion his image into something more moderate, along the lines of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Ex-Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, who came in fourth in the April 10 election for president this year, was quoted as saying in the Washington Post on Wednesday that in this campaign: “The Brazilians are providing the political ideas, but the money is coming from Chavez.”
Humala wants a greater role for the state in the economy–particularly regarding “strategic” natural resources–and is vowing to change Peru’s constitution toward that end.
(By Robert Kozak)