Peru: Ollanta Humala Takes Office Today Amid Expectations

Peru: Ollanta Humala Takes Office Today Amid Expectations Lima, Jul 28. – Peruvian nationalist leader Ollanta Humala takes office today as president almost 11 years after coming to the fore in a symbolic military rebellion, bloodless and democratic. The former army lieutenant colonel, who led a handful of soldiers and reservists in a rebellion in the southern region of Moquegua in 2000, will begin his five-year mandate amid high expectations, both at home and abroad.

Anticipation over the changes he has promised for more social inclusion were reflected in the flurry of news media speculation over his inaugural speech.

Without the military uniform that made him famous when he rebelled to demand the resignation of former President Alberto Fujimori, Humala will outline his government program, and according to sources close to his campaign, will announce his first social measures.

More mature and experienced than the charismatic military officer with Andean mestizo looks who 11 years ago demanded free, clean elections and democratic freedoms, Humala is also stirring expectations across Latin America, home to growing and diverse progressive tendencies.

Those expectations are expressed in the presence of 14 heads of state, including the majority of leaders of the member countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

After Humala is sworn in, he will host a UNASUR summit meeting, and another of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), priorities in a new foreign policy emphasizing Latin American integration without political or ideological conditions.(Prensa Latina)