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Volume 59 / Social Sciences

ECONOMICS: PERU


CATALINA RABINOVICH, Independent Consultant


IN THE MIDST OF arguably the largest corruption scandal in Peruvian economic history and before the year 2000 was over, the third Fujimori administration came to an end in disgraceful fashion. The decline had begun only a few months earlier.

The decade of the 1990s, which began with an impressive record for the first Fujimori administration (1990–95) in its battle against terrorism and inflation, ended with the majority of the population impoverished and, by all practical terms, barely employed. Although macroeconomic figures concealed what was happening at the micro levels most of the time, an explanation for the "final explosion"—seen in the fleeing from the country both of President Alberto Fujimori and his main intelligence advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos—was found in mid-2001 at the political level in the separate compartments through which Montesinos divided the country to manipulate it (and frighten and abuse and steal) as a puppeteer, not allowing anyone below him to know how his system worked. But above him, this corruption occurred with the consent of Fujimori, an issue which is currently being discerned.

Academic research during this period evolved mainly as follows: Gonzales de Olarte, in both of his works, anticipated the entangling of the current liberal economy with an authoritarian regime, as well as giving few chances to solve the country's structural problematic issues (items #bi 99009020# and #bi 99009026#). Sheahan dealt with the interaction between racial, ethnic, and psychological subtleties of Peruvian social classes and their impact on economic development (item #bi 99009015#). Various researchers continued to explore agrarian issues, despite the poor attention that the extended Fujimori regime paid to the agricultural sector (items #bi 99009002# and #bi 98016071#). Del Valle studied changes in the telecommunications sector (item #bi 99008996#); Orrue contributed an interesting work on gender studies (item #bi 99008939#); and Vega-Centeno and Remenyi analyzed important social security reforms (item #bi 98016074#).

Villarán is one researcher who brings light and hope to Peru's economic situation. In his ripened work, Riqueza popular: pasión y gloria de la pequeña empresa, he enhances the central role that small enterprises are already fulfilling for the globalized Peruvian economy (item #bi 99009019#).


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