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Peruvian Aprista Party

Partido Aprista Peruano
PresidentCésar Trelles
Secretary-GeneralElías Rodríguez
Benigno Chirinos
FounderVíctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
FoundedMay 7, 1924 (1924-05-07) (Mexico)
September 20, 1930 (1930-09-20) (Peru)
HeadquartersAv. Alfonso Ugarte N° 1012, Breña, Lima
Youth wingJuventud Aprista Peruana
Membership (2020)223,454[1]
IdeologySocial democracy
Third Way
Latin American integration
Political positionCentre[2] (with centre-left and centre-right factions)
Regional affiliationCOPPPAL
International affiliationSocialist International
Anthem"La Marsellesa Aprista"[3]
Seats in Congress
0 / 130
0 / 25
Regional Councillors
2 / 274
Province Mayorships
1 / 196
District Mayorships
21 / 1,874
Party flag
Flag of APRA.svg

The Peruvian Aprista Party (Spanish: Partido Aprista Peruano, PAP) (About this soundlisten ) is a Peruvian political party and a member of the Socialist International. The party was founded as the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, who originally intended to create a network of anti-imperialist social and political movements in Latin America. Members are called "companions", based on the fraternity espoused by Haya de la Torre. Originally a centre-left to left-wing party with democratic socialist and nationalist elements (in addition to the aforementioned anti-imperialism), the party moved closer to the political centre under the leadership of Alan García starting in the 1980s, embracing social democracy and later some Third Way policies.

Founded continentally in 1924 in Mexico City, Mexico, and nationally in 1930 in Lima, it is one of the oldest political parties in Latin America. Among the Peruvian political parties in activity, it is the longest-lived, specifically for having been stripped of electoral victories by coups or military governments after having triumphed democratically, it also went through two long periods of illegality, both under military and civilian governments, having been persecuted by the presidencies of Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro and Manuel A. Odría. The Peruvian Aprista Party has gained in the presidency in two occasions: in 1985 and 2006, both under the candidacy of Alan García.

Although APRA does not operate throughout Latin America as its founder envisioned for, it has served as a powerful influence for other progressive Latin American political organizations, such as Democratic Action (AD) in Venezuela and the Socialist Party of Chile, which has a similar logo.


APRA was founded by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre in Mexico City on 7 May 1924 with aspirations to becoming a continent-wide party, and it subsequently influenced a number of other Latin American political movements, including Bolivia's Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario, MNR), Dominican Republic's Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, PRD) and Costa Rica's National Liberation Party (Partido Liberación Nacional, PLN).

It is the oldest surviving political party in Peru and one of the best established. APRA is as much a social phenomenon as a political movement, with a membership whose loyalty to the party has been unwavering for several generations.

APRA initially espoused anti-imperialism, Pan-Americanism, international solidarity and economic nationalism. Years of repression and clandestinity, as well as Haya de la Torre's single-handed dominance of the party, resulted in striking sectarian and hierarchical traits.[4] The party's structure and the party's hold over its rank and file proved more lasting than its original program.

Political activity since 1980[edit]

After several years of military rule, APRA was allowed to participate as a legal political party in 1979. The party gathered strong support from the electorate, managing to win a majority of seats in the newly created Constituent Assembly, and supervised the first democratic elections in 12 years.

Haya de la Torre was elected president of the Constituent Assembly and was slated to run as the party's presidential candidate in 1980. However, he died before the election. The party was divided between Armando Villanueva and Andres Townsend, each of them claiming to be the political and ideological heir of Haya de la Torre. APRA chose Villanueva as its candidate, while Townsend and other members left the party to create the Hayist Bases Movement. The split among the Apristas allowed former president Fernando Belaúnde Terry of Acción Popular to win the election.

However, APRA managed to win in virtual control of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It was also during these election that Alan García started his political career, after being elected Deputy for the Province of Lima.

The youthful and charismatic García was elected president on April 14, 1985, with 45% of the vote during the first round. Since he did not receive the 50% of the vote required to win the presidency, García was required to enter the second round against Alfonso Barrantes Lingán (the leftist mayor of Lima) of the Izquierda Unida Coalition. Barrantes, however, decided not to enter the second round of the elections, saying he did not want to prolong the political uncertainty of the country.

García was thus declared president on June 1 and officially took power on July 28, 1985. It was the first time in its sixty-year history that the populist APRA party had come to power in Peru.

His presidency was marked by world-record hyperinflation with the annual rate exceeding 13,000 percent per year. García's administration devastated the local economy as well as all governmental institutions. Hunger, corruption, injustice, abuse of power, elitism, and social unrest raised to dramatic levels spreading throughout the whole nation, spurring terrorism.

At García's farewell speech, he was booed by the entire opposition forces and prevented from speaking. The anecdotal event was televised. That same day the board of the Chamber of Deputies requested the creation of a special committee to investigate García's Presidency, accusing him of massive corruption and illicit enrichment. The committee attacked García with numerous proven accusations involving embezzlement, misappropriation and bribery, based -among other trustworthy sources- on a U.S. congressional investigation that linked García with the BCCI scandal and had found millions of dollars in banks. New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau charged García officially. Later in 1992, then Senator John Kerry presided over the BCCI Scandal Report (, which concluded that García was not only guilty of corruption, but also directly involved in an international racketeering network with activities that included drug and arms trafficking. Finally, the Peruvian Supreme Court, overturned prior judicial verdicts and declared all the probes and constitutional accusations against García "null".

In May 1989, APRA chose as its standard bearer Luis Alva Castro for the 1990 general election. For the final runoff, APRA sealed a hidden deal with Cambio 90 and Alberto Fujimori, to prevent the leading candidate Mario Vargas Llosa, today a Nobel laureate and renown novelist and political analyst, from getting elected. Fujimori, a complete unknown, was subsequently elected.

As Fujimori assumed the Presidency in 1990, Congress was dominated by the opposition forces of Mario Vargas Llosa's Democratic Front. Fujimori's party had gained only 32 deputies out of 180, and 14 senators out of 60. The majority was divided between APRA (22%) and the Democratic Front, with about 32% of Congress. In 1992, Fujimori organized a successful coup d’etat. This allowed García to flee Peru and request asylum denouncing political persecution, the asylum was granted by president César Gaviria. Shortly after, under the protection of president Francois Mitterrand, García received again the privilege of political refuge and left Colombia to reside in Paris.

Fujimori convened elections for a Democratic Constituent Congress, in which APRA did not participate. In the 1995 general elections, the APRA nominee for President was Mercedes Cabanillas, gaining only 4%, behind former United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (21%) and the reelected Fujimori (64%). The party only got 8 congressman out of 120, while Fujimori’s Cambio 90-New Majority dominated Congress with 67.

In 2000, Abel Salinas was elected as the presidential nominee, being the worst general election for APRA, gaining only 1% of the popular vote. Only 6 APRA congressman were elected. As many assume the election was a fraud, Fujimori resigned after the corruption of his government was revealed by the opposition.

At the legislative elections, the party won 19.7% of the popular vote and 28 out of 120 seats in Congress. Its presidential candidate at the elections of the same day, Alan García Pérez, won 25.8% of the vote and was defeated in the second round by Alejandro Toledo.

In February 2005, García officially commenced his campaign for the 2006 presidential election. He came in second place by a slim margin over Lourdes Flores, and faced Ollanta Humala in a run-off election on June 4. He became president again as Humala conceded after exit polls and partial vote counts showed García leading. [1]. He officially took office on July 28, 2006.

APRA is a member of the Socialist International.

The youth organization of APRA is known as Juventud Aprista Peruana.

Hilda Gadea – the first female Secretary of the Economy of the Executive National Committee for APRA; later married Che Guevara and wrote a memoir.[5]

Current structure and composition[edit]

National Executive Committee[edit]

The National Executive Committee of the Peruvian Aprista Party is the implementing body of organic action and mobilization of the party. It is the responsibility of the National Executive Committee to give the unit of total action committees and party cadres, efficiently support the development of decentralized activities and delegate decision-making authority to the Base Committees throughout the Republic, with knowledge of the national political leadership.

The establishment, functions, powers of each National Institute and Regional Institute delegates and general coordinators, are set out in the General Rules of Organization on the basis of which produces the respective Functions Manual, which must be approved by the National Policy Institute of the Party. It is led by two secretary-generals, which are elected by a National Convention.

The current National Executive Committee is led by Elías Rodríguez, former Congressman from La Libertad, and Benigno Chirinos, former Senator and current Chairman of the Workers Confederation, a trade union affiliated to the party. As Institutional and Political Secretary Generals, respectively, they were first elected at the XXIV National Convention "Armando Villanueva", held at the party headquarters in Breña, Lima, from July 7 to 9, 2017. They were reelected at the XXV National Convention "Alan García", held from October 25 to 27, 2019.

Current leadership[edit]

  • Institutional Secretary General: Elías Rodríguez Zavaleta
  • Political Secretary General: Benigno Chirinos Sotelo
  • Secretary of Organization and Mobilization: Enrique Melgar Moscoso
  • Secretary of Discipline: Maximiliano Paz Soldán
  • Secretary of Professional Caucuses: Ricardo Yturbe López
  • Secretary of Unions and Workers: Eleodoro Calderón Zegarra
  • Secretary of Popular Organizations: Filomena Arévalo Gonzales
  • Secretary of Civilian Organizations: Zoila Bocángel Bravo
  • Secretary of Production and Micro/Small Business: Hernán Echevarría Ardiles
  • Secretary of Training and UPGP: Álvaro Quispe Pérez
  • Secretary of Political Education: Giovanna Temple Dueñas
  • Secretary of Regional Governments: Miguel Javier Arango
  • Secretary of Local Government: Luis del Carpio Villanueva
  • Secretary of Women: Laura Angulo Robles
  • Secretary of Youth: César Aranguren García
  • Secretary of Press and Broadcast: Ricardo Palma Morales
  • Secretary of Propaganda: Mayta Alatrista Herrera
  • Secretary of Electoral Technique: Mercedes Núñez Gutiérrez
  • Secretary of International Relations: Gerardo Morris Abarca
  • Secretary of Sports Affairs: Félix Enrique Huamán
  • Secretary of Culture: Rosa Bazán Flores

Office of the President of the Party[edit]

The Office of the President of the Party was established on July 15, 1985, in honor of Alan García's triumph in being the first member of the party to be elected President of Peru. According to the party statute, its is the highest rank in the party, exercising executive functions, and presiding all permanent organ meetings. Chosen by the National Convention, the Presidency is widely perceived as honorific position created exclusively for García. Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre holds the eternal position of "Chief", according to Aprista lore, but never took an executive role as embodied by García.

The current President of the Party is César Trelles Lara, the former Governor of Piura, elected and ratified as such pursuant to the Law of Political Parties, by the XXV National Convention "Alan García Pérez", held at the party headquarters in Breña, Lima, from October 25 to 27, 2019.

Political Commission[edit]

The Political Commission is the highest ranking organ on party policy, after the Convention. It is in charge of defining and expressing the party's position on transcendental aspects of the country, conducting party thought and action, within the framework of its ideological and programmatic conception. It establishes the political line, agrees and guides the organization, party action and the development of the objectives and goals of the National Executive Committee and the Autonomous Bodies.

The current Political Commission is chaired by Mauricio Mulder, former Congressman from Lima and former party Secretary General. Mulder was first elected at the XXIV National Convention "Armando Villanueva", held at the party headquarters in Breña, Lima, from July 7 to 9, 2017, and was subsequently reelected by the XXV National Convention "Alan García", held from October 25 to 27, 2019.

Current leadership[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Nominee Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
1931 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre 106,088 35.4% Lost Red XN
1962 557,007 33.0% Annulled Red XN
1963 623,501 34.4% Lost Red XN
1980 Armando Villanueva 1,087,188 27.2% Lost Red XN
1985 Alan García 3,452,111 53.1% Elected Green tickY
1990 Luis Alva Castro 1,494,231 22.5% Lost Red XN
1995 Mercedes Cabanillas 297,327 4.1% Lost Red XN
2000 Abel Salinas 153,319 1.4% Lost Red XN
2001 Alan García 2,732,857 25.8% 4,904,929 46.9% Lost Red XN
2006 2,985,858 24.3% 6,965,017 52.6% Elected Green tickY
2011 Mercedes Aráoz Nomination withdrawn N/A N/A
2016 Alan García
(as part of Popular Alliance)
894,278 5.8% Lost Red XN
2021 Nidia Vílchez Nomination withdrawn N/A N/A

Congressional elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1963 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
56 / 139
Increase 56 Minority
1980 Armando Villanueva 962,801 26.5%
58 / 180
Increase 58 Minority
1985 Alan García 2,920,605 50.1%
107 / 180
Increase 49 Majority
1990 1,240,395 25.0%
53 / 180
Decrease 54 Minority
1995 N/A 274,263 6.4%
8 / 120
Decrease 45 Minority
2000 546,930 5.5%
6 / 120
Decrease 2 Minority
2001 Alan García 1,857,416 19.7%
28 / 120
Increase 22 Minority
2006 2,213,562 20.6%
36 / 120
Increase 8 Minority
2011 825,030 6.4%
4 / 130
Decrease 32 Minority
2016 1,013,735 8.3%

as part of Popular Alliance

5 / 130
Increase 1 Minority
2020 César Trelles 402,330 2.7%
0 / 130
Decrease 5 N/A

Senate elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1963 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
18 / 45
Increase 18 Minority
1980 Armando Villanueva 1,144,203 27.6%
18 / 60
Increase 18 Minority
1985 Alan García 3,099,975 51.3%

in coalition with DC-SODE

32 / 61
Increase 14 Majority
1990 1,390,954 25.1%
16 / 62
Decrease 16 Minority



  • John A. Mackay, That Other America (New York: The Friendship Press, 1935), 102-116.
  • Harry Kantor, The Ideology and Program of the Peruvian Aprista Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press. London: Cambridge University Press, 1953. Reprinted, New York: Octagon Books, Inc., 1966).
  • W. Stanley Rycroft, “Intellectual Renaissance in Latin America,” Book Review of The Ideology and Program of the Peruvian Aprista Movement, by Harry Kantor, in International Review of Missions, vol. 43, no. 2 (April, 1954), 220-223.

External links[edit]