A growing number of prominent members of Fuerza Popular (FP), the fujimorista party, are cutting their ties, aware that the brand has become toxic.
Among the most recent to do so are Rosa Baltra, Nelly Cuadros and Yeni Vilcatoma. All three have announced their intention to stand again in the 26 January election under the banner of Solidaridad Nacional. SN is the party founded by Luis Castañeda Lossio, twice mayor of Lima, who stands accused of receiving cash from the Brazilian construction firm OAS.
Baltra became a household name in Peru through her uncompromising opposition to political reforms in her previous position as head of the congressional constitution committee. It was largely her intransigent behaviour that led to President Martín Vizcarra’s move on 30 September to dissolve Congress and call elections for January. She also chaired the special parliamentary commission that looked into the Lava Jato sandal, refusing to allow an investigation into the affairs of Alan García.
Vilcatoma has passed through several party affiliations, but has generally aligned herself with FP. Her husband is under investigation by the Contaloría de la República. Cuadros was among those who resigned from FP in June this year to found a dissident grouping, Acción Republicana.
Other fujimoristas to jump ship include Alejandra Aramayo. She claims to have called Luis Galareta, general secretary of FP, to say she intended to stay but he never returned the call.
Perhaps more significantly, Carlos Tubino has resigned from FP, alleging that this was because the party leadership refused to include him on the list of candidates for the January election. Tubino was the party’s official spokesman in Congress until the dissolution. He is a former admiral who was the political/military head in Ucayali during the counter-insurgency war against Sendero Luminoso.