Toledo, Alejandro (1946–)
Toledo, Alejandro (1946–)
The biography of Alejandro Toledo Manrique, Peru's ninety-first president (2001–2006), is a rags-to-riches story. Born on March 28, 1946 to parents of indigenous origins, he grew up in the fishing town of Chimbote, where his father was a bricklayer. As a child he worked as a shoeshine boy, but later—thanks to support from U.S. Peace Corps volunteers—Toledo attended the University of San Francisco on a partial soccer scholarship and eventually earned a doctorate in education from Stanford University in 1992. He founded the political party País Posible (PP; later renamed Perú Posible) in 1994. Toledo ran unsuccessfully for presidency in 1995 and then again in the controversial 2000 election. Opposition to President Fujimori's legally dubious attempt to secure a third term in 2000 helped Toledo obtain 40 percent of the vote in the first electoral round, thus securing him a place in the subsequent runoff. However, he withdrew from the race, accusing the Fujimori regime of conducting a fraudulent election. He then organized with other opposition leaders the Marcha de los Cuatro Suyos, a series of massive rallies to protest Fujimori's second reelection. PP nominated him to run again in 2001. This time, Toledo faced former president Alan García in the runoff, winning with 53 percent of the vote. Inaugurated on July 28, 2001, his performance in office was uneven. He presided over years of substantial economic growth, but his popularity plummeted as people criticized his lack of discipline, his political priorities, and his apparent tolerance for petty corruption and nepotism. Although some congressmen demanded his resignation, Toledo successfully completed his term in 2006.
Arévalo, Patricia, and Michelle Salcedo Teullet, eds. Cinco años: Crecimiento económico sostenido y recuperación democrática: El gobierno de Alejandro Toledo Manrique, 2001–2006. Lima: Presidencia del Consejo de Ministros, 2006.
Azpur, Javier et al. Perú hoy: Los mil días de Toledo. Lima: DESCO, 2004.
Toledo, Alejandro. Las Cartas sobre la mesa: Testimonio y propuestas para un pais posible. Lima: Instituto de Investigación para el Desarrollo del Perú, 1995.
"Toledo: Shoeshine Boy Turned Economist." BBC News, 8 April 2001. Online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/708450.stm.
"World Briefing/Americas: Peru: Angry President Calls for Unity." New York Times, January 20, 2005. Online at http://query.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/alejandro_toledo/index.htm.