Martín Vizcarra

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Martín Vizcarra

Martín Vizcarra Cornejo (cropped) (cropped).png
67th President of Peru
Assumed office
23 March 2018
Prime MinisterMercedes Aráoz
César Villanueva
Vice PresidentMercedes Aráoz
Preceded byPedro Pablo Kuczynski
President pro tempore of the Pacific Alliance
Assumed office
24 July 2018
Preceded byJuan Manuel Santos
First Vice President of Peru
In office
28 July 2016 – 23 March 2018
PresidentPedro Pablo Kuczynski
Preceded byMarisol Espinoza
Succeeded byMercedes Aráoz
Peruvian Ambassador to Canada
In office
18 October 2017 – 23 March 2018
PresidentPedro Pablo Kuczynski
Preceded byMarcela López Bravo
Succeeded byCarlos Gil de Montes Molinari
Minister of Transport and Communications
In office
28 July 2016 – 22 May 2017
Prime MinisterFernando Zavala
Preceded byJosé Gallardo Ku
Succeeded byBruno Giuffra
Governor of the Moquegua Region
In office
1 January 2011 – 31 December 2014
Preceded byJaime Rodríguez Villanueva
Succeeded byJaime Rodríguez Villanueva
Personal details
Martín Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo

(1963-03-22) 22 March 1963 (age 55)
Lima, Peru
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Peruvians for Change
Spouse(s)Maribel Díaz Cabello
Alma materNational University of Engineering

Martín Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo OSP (American Spanish: [maɾˈtin alˈβeɾto βisˈkara koɾˈnexo];[a] born 22 March 1963) is a Peruvian engineer and politician who is the 67th and current President of Peru. Vizcarra previously served as Governor of the Moquegua department (2011–2014), Minister of Transport and Communications of Peru (2016–2017), and Ambassador of Peru to Canada (2017–2018).

In the 2016 general election, Vizcarra ran with the Peruanos Por el Kambio party as candidate for first vice president and as running mate of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Vizcarra was sworn into office as president on 23 March 2018 following the resignation of President Kuczynski.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Vizcarra was born in Lima, the son of César Vizcarra Vargas, who was an APRA member, and Doris Cornejo, a teacher of primary education. His father was mayor of Moquegua and member of the Constituent Assembly of 1978. His family was based in Moquegua, but moved to Lima due to a pulmonary complication that put him on the verge of death at his birth.

Regarding his father, Vizcarra stated he left a lasting impact on his life.[3]


Vizcarra studied at the IEP Juan XXIII and the GUE Simón Bolívar, in Moquegua. For university education, Vizcarra graduated from the National University of Engineering in Lima in 1984[4] while also earning a degree in Management Administration from the School of Business Administration (ESAN).[5]

Political career[edit]

Governor of Moquegua[edit]

His political ambitions began in his home region of Moquegua, where he ran under the APRA party for the governorship in 2006, narrowly missing election.[3] In 2008, Vizcarra led protests, known as "Moqueguazo", surrounding unequal mining payments to the community.[3] He travelled to Lima to mediate the crisis, explaining the payment issue to the Peruvian Council of Ministers who agreed to make necessary changes to laws surrounding the issue. This event inspired Vizcarra's further political ambitions.[3]

In 2011, Vizcarra was elected to be Governor of Moquegua. During his tenure, social indexes improved and he avoided corruption issues, an achievement The Washington Post described as "one of the rare examples" in Peru. He also conciliated another mining conflict between mining company Anglo American and residents concerned about potential drinking water contamination by a proposed copper mine, playing a major role in settling the dispute. Vizcarra served as governor until the end of 2014.[3]

Vice presidency[edit]

Vizcarra was elected into the office of First Vice President of Peru in 2016 general election, running beside Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Peruanos Por el Kambio party. Shortly after being elected, he was tasked with serving in other ministries.

Minister of Transportation and Communications[edit]

As Minister of Transportation and Communications, Vizcarra served for about one year. During a series of floods in late 2017 and early 2018 which devastated much of Peru, he was tasked with managing the crisis.

With allegations of bribery and bureaucracy plaguing the construction of the Chinchero International Airport in Cusco, Vizcarra cancelled many contracts and until an investigation by the Comptroller's Office was completed. After facing complaints by political opponents and being summoned to provide hours of testimony surrounding the project, all while being tasked with providing reconstruction following the flooding that affected Peru, Vizcarra resigned his position as minister. Shortly after his resignation, the Comptroller General Edgar Alarcón recommended legal action against ten officials involved with the airport's construction.[6]

Analysts stated that overall, Vizcarra's performance as minister was positive, though it was plagued by complications from the Fujimori family's political forces, known as Fujimoristas.[7]

Ambassador to Canada[edit]

After resigning from the previous ministry, he was appointed to be the Peruvian Ambassador to Canada, avoiding public attention.[3] He only returned to Peru during the first impeachment proceedings against President Kuczynski,[8] leaving to Canada shortly after the incident.

President of Peru[edit]

Following the resignation of President Kuczynski, Vizcarra returned to Peru to assume the presidency on 23 March 2018.[9] Upon being sworn in, Vizcarra stated in regards to corruption, "we've had enough", promising to lead against such practices in the Andean nation.[10]

Peruvian author and Nobel laureate in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, stated that Vizcarra's "credentials are pretty good" and that although other Peruvian politicians have faced political controversy, Vizcarra "has acted within the law". Vargas Llosa also noted that if Vizcarra's popularity were to increase enough, "then immediately in Congress, the Fujimoristas will forget their internal struggles and will probably make life difficult for him".[11]

Climate change[edit]

On 17 April 2018, President Vizcarra signed the Law for Climate Change, allowing for more funding toward the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) to monitor and combat climate change by analyzing greenhouse gas emissions while also creating a framework of inter-ministerial cooperation regarding the climate.[12][13]

The signing made Peru the first country in South America to have a climate law, with Vizcarra stating that climate change could no longer be ignored and that the Government of Peru had an obligation to work together to provide a better environment for future Peruvians.[12][13]

2018 Peruvian constitutional referendum[edit]

Following multiple corruption scandals facing the Peruvian government, on 28 July 2018, President Vizcarra called for a nationwide referendum to prohibit private funding for political campaigns, ban the reelection of lawmakers and to create a second legislative chamber.[14]

The Washington Post stated that "Vizcarra’s decisive response to a graft scandal engulfing the highest tiers of the judiciary ... has some Peruvians talking of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore integrity to public life and revive citizens’ waning faith in democracy".[15] Leftist lawmaker Marisa Glave, who was once a critic of Vizcarra, praised the move saying he had "connected with the people in a society that is both fed up with corruption but also deeply apolitical. It has put the Fujimoristas in check".[15] Transparency International also praised the move, stating that "This is a very important opportunity, one that is unlike previous opportunities because, in part, the president appears genuinely committed".[15]

Following the temporary detention of Keiko Fujimori, legislators belonging to American Popular Revolutionary Alliance and the Fujimorista-led Popular Force introduced a bill the following day on 11 October 2018 to remove Vizcarra's referendum proposals and to modify the referendum with their own suggestions to the public.[16]

On 9 December 2018, Peruvians ultimately accepted three of four of the proposals in the referendum, only rejecting the final proposal of creating a bicameral congress when Vizcarra withdrew his support when the Fujimorista-led congress manipulated the proposals contents which would have removed power from the presidency.[17]

Public image[edit]

During Vizcarra's inauguration ceremony, some Peruvians took to the streets to protest against the government, calling for the removal of all politicians.[10] Weeks later, an Ipsos survey in April 2018 found that out of those asked Vizcarra had an approval rate of 57%, a disapproval rate of 13% while about 30% of respondents were undecided.[18] A month later, Vizcarra's approval rating dipped to 52% according to a May 2018 Ipsos survey.[19]

By September 2018 after he had called for a referendum, thousands of Peruvians marched in support of his proposal and to protest against Congress.[20]

Political ideology[edit]

Vizcarra is described as a centrist[21] and he has attributed his political beliefs as stemming from his father, with Vizcarra saying that his guidance made him concerned about social issues.[3] He is pro-business and values his ability to "know how to listen" and to "go step by step", with his supporters often describing him as a bridge builder who is able to mediate complicated situations.[3]


  1. ^ In Peninsular Spanish, Vizcarra is pronounced [βiθˈkařa].


  1. ^ Quigley, John (March 21, 2018). "Vizcarra Set to Become Peru's New President Facing Daunting Challenges". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Collyns, Dan (March 22, 2018). "Peru president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigns amid corruption scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Briceno, Franklin; Armario, Christine (2018-03-23). "Incoming Peru president a political novice facing tough odds". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  4. ^ "Voto Informado". Voto Informado. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Martín Vizcarra Cornejo - Peruanos Por el Kambio - PPK". Peruanos Por el Kambio - PPK (in Spanish). 16 December 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  6. ^ Vásquez, Rocío la Rosa (2017-05-22). "Martín Vizcarra renuncia al MTC tras dejar sin efecto contrato de Chinchero". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  7. ^ Chávez, Paulo Rosas (2017-05-23). "Martín Vizcarra: entre la reconstrucción y su renuncia por Chinchero [ANÁLISIS]". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  8. ^ "Martín Vizcarra llegó a Perú en medio de gran expectativa [FOTOS]". La República (in Spanish). 2017-12-20. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  9. ^ EC, Redacción (2018-03-22). "Martín Vizcarra: "Estoy indignado por la situación actual"". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  10. ^ a b "Martin Vizcarra Sworn In As Peru's New President". NPR. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Vargas Llosa: "Las credenciales de Martín Vizcarra son bastante buenas"". La República (in Spanish). 2018-05-13. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  12. ^ a b "Peru becomes the first country in South America to have a climate change law". Peru Reports. 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  13. ^ a b "Gobierno promulgó Ley Marco de Cambio Climático". El Comercio (in Spanish). 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  14. ^ Taj, Mitra. "Peru president proposes referendum on political, judicial reform". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  15. ^ a b c Tegel, Simeon (12 August 2018). "Corruption scandals have ensnared 3 Peruvian presidents. Now the whole political system could change". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  16. ^ "Referéndum | Congresistas presentan proyecto para retirar la bicameralidad y no reelección de congresistas". RPP (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  17. ^ Briceno, Franklin (9 December 2018). "Exit polling indicates Peruvians vote to fight corruption". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  18. ^ "Peru's Vizcarra Begins Presidency With 57 Pct Approval Rating". U.S. News & World Report. 15 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  19. ^ "El Comercio-Ipsos: El 52% aprueba la gestión de Martín Vizcarra". El Comercio (in Spanish). 2018-05-13. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  20. ^ "Peru: Protesters Demand President Close Congress, Hold Referendum". Stratfor. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  21. ^ Valencia, Alexandra (16 August 2018). "Ecuador, Peru tighten entry requirements for Venezuelans as influx swells". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-08-17. Centrist Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra took office in March ...

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jaime Rodríguez Villanueva
Governor of the Moquegua Region
Succeeded by
Jaime Rodríguez Villanueva
Preceded by
José Gallardo Ku
Peruvian Minister of Transport and Communications
Succeeded by
Bruno Giuffra
Preceded by
Marisol Espinoza
First Vice President of Peru
Succeeded by
Mercedes Aráoz
Preceded by
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
President of Peru
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Marcela López Bravo
Peruvian Ambassador to Canada
Succeeded by
Carlos Gil de Montes Molinari