Urresti, one step nearer

02 March 2015

Daniel Urresti appears to be one step nearer to his aim of becoming a presidential candidate. On February 26 he announced that he had formalised his membership of President Humala’s Nationalist Party (PNP). A week earlier, having been removed from his post as interior minister (see last week’s update), he had made clear his intention to launch his incursion into the world of electoral politics.

His abrasive style as interior minister and his adoption of a seemingly tough law-and-order stance helped push him into the political limelight, along with his barbed attacks through twitter of Alan García and Keiko Fujimori, both potential presidential candidates for the 2016 elections. He attracted a far higher rating in opinion polls than any other member of the cabinet.

Urresti has tapped into a potentially rich electoral vein by exploiting public concerns over citizen insecurity. Opinion polls from various different companies attest to the fact that this is the number one concern for voters, especially among low-income sectors of the population.

The immediate obstacle facing Urresti, a former army officer, is the accusation that he was responsible for the murder in 1988 of Hugo Bustios, a journalist working for the magazine Caretas and who was covering the counter-insurgency war in Ayacucho. Urresti has denied any responsibility for the killing, but the case has recently been re-opened by the public prosecutor’s office.

For more details of the accusations lodged against Urresti, see

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