An Impregnable Castle

By Atilio A. Boron on June 9, 2021

Pedro Castillo reaches the final stretch of the electoral recount with a difference of some 80,000 votes in his favor. The only thing missing is the official ratification of his victory, something that should be resolved in the next hours. The ambiguity of the figure is due to the infinitesimal variation that could result from the examination of observed tally sheets, incorrectly filled out or with illegible signatures. But, even so, the victory of the rural teacher is irreversible, and that explains why since Tuesday afternoon the rumor and lie mill of the Peruvian and continental right wing has begun to beat the “fraud” patch. But Adriana Urrutia, the political scientist of the Civil Association Transparency, institution that deployed 1,400 observers in Peru and in the voting centers abroad, immediately rejected this accusation by declaring that “there is no evidence that allows us to speak of electoral fraud”. This affirmation coincides with the one made by the observers of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations and no less than the envoys of the OAS.

Fake news

Once loquacious Peruvian celebrities such as Mario Vargas Llosa and Jaime Bayly have suddenly come to a resounding silence. The former wrote that he “burned with the desire” to celebrate the triumph of the hyper-corrupt Keiko who until a few months ago was the favorite target of his most furious and devastating attacks. As Jorge Luis Borges would say, this somersault was not the product of love but of the terror that his tormented colonialist soul felt at the mere possibility that a man of the people, a humble rural teacher, could achieve what he could not in 1990 and that is to be president of Peru. And now he burns, but with hatred and fury, before the blinding light of a character who he defamed, insulted and fought viciously and relentlessly. Bayly, another spirit colonized to the marrow, got tired of defaming the figure of Castillo; he accused him of being a Chavista, Castro-Chavista, leftist, communist and even insinuated that he could be a “Shining Pathist”. As it happens here in Argentina, pseudo-journalism does not recognize ethical limits of any kind. Its spokespersons can lie on a daily basis and with absolute impunity. The complement of fake news and the media shielding cultivated by the media hit men is lawfare. Whatever Bayly says against the future Peruvian president, there will always be justice to protect the publicist of the empire.

In proportional terms, Castillo took almost half a percentage point advantage over Keiko Fujimori. Undoubtedly it has been a very close election. But to those who claim that that is not enough difference I remind them that in 2016 Keiko lost to another corrupt, Pedro Pablo Kuczinski, by 40,000 votes and 0.20 of the total valid votes. Now the difference is double, in absolute and percentage terms. There is no reason whatsoever to disregard the Cajamarca native’s victory. In democracy, whoever has more votes wins, and Castillo has more than enough. John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in 1960 by a percentage difference equal to 0.17 percent; why is that percentage good in the United States and a much higher one would not be good in Peru?

Why Castillo won

Castillo’s victory is an encouraging event because it shows that if there is a candidate who faithfully represents and interprets popular sentiment, all the powers of the establishment can be defeated. The businessmen who threatened to close their doors and leave their workers in the street; the lying and manipulative media oligarchy; the traditional political class; high state officials and even most of the Peruvian national soccer players, apart from Vargas Llosa and Bayly, fired against him. Castillo campaigned with zero money, no image consultants and no expensive electoral consultants. He did not need any of that. He won because he listened to the popular clamor, he knew how to hear the voice of the street.

Vargas Llosa got screwed

Not only did he win the election, he also had the pleasure of defeating Keiko by a 65 to 35 percent margin of the votes in Arequipa no less, the home Vargas Llosa his most bitter slanderer who, also for that reason, must be burning like a medieval fire as he wondering how could this happen? He, who was accustomed to alternating between presidents and kings, with ministers and eminences; to being treated with the distinction due to a Marquis of the Kingdom of Spain, was beaten in the land of his birth by a humble teacher from Cajamarca, from Chota to be precise, who overnight seemed to personify the features of some of the most admirable heroes of Vargas Llosa’s novels. Moreover, I would say that many of them must be enjoying the sweet taste of revenge against the writer who created them and who, when he leaves the world of fiction, becomes the mortal enemy of his beloved creatures, eternal dreamers and fighters for a better world.

Source: Pagina 12, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English