Ollanta Humala

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Ollanta Humala
Ollanta Humala Tasso.jpg
President of Peru
In office
July 28, 2011 – July 28, 2016
Prime MinisterSalomón Lerner Ghitis
Oscar Valdés
Juan Jiménez Mayor
César Villanueva
René Cornejo
Ana Jara
Pedro Cateriano
Vice PresidentMarisol Espinoza
Omar Chehade (2011-2012)
Preceded byAlan Garcia
Succeeded byPedro Pablo Kuczynski
President of the Peruvian Nationalist Party
Assumed office
August 26, 2016
Preceded byNadine Heredia
In office
October 3, 2005 – December 30, 2013
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byNadine Heredia
Additional positions
President pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations
In office
June 29, 2012 – August 30, 2013
Preceded byFernando Lugo
Succeeded byDési Bouterse
President pro tempore of the Pacific Alliance
In office
July 3, 2015 – July 1, 2016
Preceded byEnrique Peña Nieto
Succeeded byMichelle Bachelet
Personal details
Born (1962-06-27) 27 June 1962 (age 58)
Lima, Peru
Nationality Peruvian
Political partyPeruvian Nationalist Party
Other political
Peru Wins (2010–2012)
Union for Peru (2006)
(m. 1999)
Alma materChorrillos Military School (B.S.)
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (M.A.)
Military service
Allegiance Peru
Branch/service Peruvian Army
Years of service1981–2005
RankLieutenant colonel
Battles/warsInternal conflict in Peru
Cenepa War

Ollanta Moisés Humala Tasso (Spanish pronunciation: [oˈʝanta uˈmala]; born 27 June 1962) is a Peruvian politician and former military officer who served as President of Peru from 2011 to 2016. Originally considered to be a socialist and left-wing nationalist, he is considered to have shifted towards neoliberalism and the political centre during his presidency.[1][2]

Born to a prominent political family affiliated with the ethnocacerist movement, Humala is the son of famed Quechua labour lawyer Isaac Humala. Humala entered the Peruvian Army in 1981, eventually achieveing the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his time in the military, he fought in the internal conflict against far-left terrorist group Shining Path as well as in the Cenepa War with neighboring Ecuador. In October 2000, Humala attempted an unsuccessful coup d'etat against far-right President Alberto Fujimori during the dying days of his regime;[3] he was eventually pardoned for his actions by the Peruvian Congress.

In 2005, Humala entered electoral politics, founding the Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) in order to run in the 2006 presidential election. Having received first place in the first round, he faced former centre-left President Alan García in the second round, ultimately losing by a narrow margin. His campaign received widespread international attention in 2006 given the recent success of left-wing politicians in Latin America.[4] In 2011, he would once again run for President, and narrowly defeated far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori in the runoff.

Humala's election initially concerned investors, who feared he would govern similar to far-left Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a former ally of his. To assuage these fears, Humala would begin his term by choosing centrists for positions in his cabinet.[5] Humala's unpopular presidency was dominated by corruption scandals surrounding him and his politically influential wife Nadine Heredia.[6][7] Environmentalists were highly critical of Humala's mining policies, and argued that he reneged on his campaign promise to reign in mining companies.[8][9]

In 2017, Humala was arrested by Peruvian authorities on corruption charges.[10] Humala attempted a political comeback in the 2021 presidential election, but only received 1.5% of the vote, finishing 13th place.

Early life[edit]

Ollanta Humala was born in Lima, Peru on June 27, 1962. His father Isaac Humala, who is of Quechua ethnicity, is a labour lawyer, member of the Communist Party of Peru – Red Fatherland, and ideological leader of the Ethnocacerista movement. Ollanta's mother is Elena Tasso, from an old Italian family established in Peru at the end of the 19th century.[11] He is the brother of Antauro Humala, now serving a 25-year prison sentence for kidnapping 17 Police officers for 3 days and killing 4 of them, and professor Ulises Humala.[12] Humala was born in Peru and attended the French-Peruvian school Franco-Peruano, and later the "Colegio Cooperativo La Union," established by part of the Peruvian-Japanese community in Lima.

Military career[edit]

He began his military career in 1982 when he entered the Chorrillos Military School.

In his military career, Humala was also involved in the two major Peruvian conflicts of the past 20 years, the battle against the insurgent organization Shining Path and the 1995 Cenepa War with Ecuador. In 1992, Humala served in Tingo María fighting the remnants of the Shining Path and in 1995 he served in the Cenepa War on the border with Ecuador.[13]

2000 uprising[edit]

See also Locumba uprising (Spanish)

In October 2000, Humala led an uprising in Toquepala[14] against Alberto Fujimori on his last days as President due to multiple corruption scandals. The main reason given for the rebellion was the capture of Vladimiro Montesinos, former intelligence chief who had fled Peru for asylum in Panama after being caught on video trying to bribe an opposition congressman. The return of Montesinos led to fears that he still had much power in Fujimori's government, so Humala and about 40 other Peruvian soldiers revolted against their senior army commander.[15] Montesinos claims that the uprising facilitated his concurrent escape.[16]

Many of Humala's men deserted him, leaving him only 7 soldiers. During the revolt, Humala called on Peruvian "patriots" to join him in the rebellion, and around 300 former soldiers led by his brother Antauro answered his call and were reported to have been in a convoy attempting to join up with Humala. The revolt gained some sympathy from the Peruvian populace with the influential opposition newspaper La República calling him "valiant and decisive, unlike most in Peru". The newspaper also had many letters sent in by readers with accolades to Ollanta and his men.[15]

In the aftermath, the Army sent hundreds of soldiers to capture the rebels. Even so, Humala and his men managed to hide until President Fujimori was impeached from office a few days later and Valentín Paniagua was named interim president. Later Humala was pardoned by Congress and allowed to return to military duty.

Post-Fujimori regime[edit]

He was sent as military attaché to Paris, then to Seoul until December 2004, when he was forcibly retired. His forced retirement is suspected to have partly motivated an etnocacerista rebellion of Andahuaylas[3] led by his brother Antauro Humala in January 2005.[17]

In 2002, Humala received a master's degree in Political Science from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.[18]

Political career[edit]

2006 presidential campaign[edit]

In October 2005 Humala created the Partido Nacionalista Peruano (the Peruvian Nationalist Party) and ran for the presidency in 2006 with the support of Union for Peru (UPP).

Ambassador Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the former Peruvian Secretary-General of the United Nations and founder of UPP, told the press on December 5, 2005, that he did not support the election of Humala as the party's presidential candidate. He said that after being the UPP presidential candidate in 1995, he had not had any further contact with UPP and therefore did not take part in choosing Humala as the party's presidential candidate for the 2006 elections.[19][20]

There were some accusations that he incurred in torture, under the nom de guerre "Capitán Carlos" ("Captain Carlos"), while he was the commander of a military base in the jungle region of Madre Mia from 1992 to 1993. His brother Antauro Humala stated in 2006 that Humala had used such a name during their activities.[21][22] Humala, in an interview with Jorge Ramos, acknowledged that he went under the pseudonym Captain Carlos but stated that other soldiers went under the same name and denied participation in any human rights abuses.[23]

On March 17, 2006, Humala's campaign came under some controversy as his father, Issac Humala, said "If I was President, I would grant amnesty to him (Abimael Guzmán) and the other incarcerated members of the Shining Path". He made similar statements about amnesty for Víctor Polay, the leader of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, and other leaders of the MRTA. But Ollanta Humala distanced himself from the more radical members of his family during his campaign.[24][25][26] Humala's mother, meanwhile, made a statement on the March 21 calling for homosexuals to be shot.[27]

Ollanta Humala's brother, Ulises Humala, ran against him in the election, but was considered an extremely minor candidate and came in 14th place in the election.

On April 9, 2006, the first round of the Peruvian national election was held. Humala came in first place getting 30.62% of the valid votes,[28] and immediately began preparing to face Alan García, who obtained 24.32%, in a runoff election on June 4.

On May 20, 2006, the day before the first Presidential debate between Alan García and Ollanta Humala, a tape of the former Peruvian intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos was released by Montesinos' lawyer to the press with Montesinos claiming that Humala had started the October 29, 2000 military uprising against the Fujimori government to facilitate his escape from Peru amidst corruption scandals. Montesinos is quoted as saying it was a "farce, an operation of deception and manipulation".

Geographic distribution of Second Round votes, by winning candidate.
  Alan García, >2/3 of valid votes
  Alan García, <2/3 of valid votes
  Ollanta Humala, >2/3
  Ollanta Humala, <2/3

Humala immediately responded to the charges by accusing Montesinos of being in collaboration with García's Aprista Party with an intention to undermine his candidacy. Humala is quoted as stating "I want to declare my indignation at the statements" and went on to say "Who benefits from the declarations that stain the honor of Ollanta Humala? Evidently they benefit Alan García".[29][30][31] In another message that Montesinos released to the media through his lawyer he claimed that Humala was a "political pawn" of Cuban President Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in an "asymmetric war" against the United States. Montesinos went on to state that Humala "is not a new ideologist or political reformer, but he is an instrument".[32]

On May 24, 2006, Humala warned of possible voter fraud in the upcoming second round elections scheduled for June 4. He urged UPP supporters to register as poll watchers "so votes are not stolen from us during the tabulation at the polling tables." Humala went on to cite similar claims of voting fraud in the first round made by right-wing National Unity candidate Lourdes Flores when she told reporters that she felt she had "lost at the tabulation tables, not at the ballot box". When asked if he had proof for his claims by CPN Radio Humala stated "I do not have proof. If I had the proof, I would immediately denounce those responsible to the electoral system". Alan García responded by stating that Humala was "crying fraud" because the polls show him losing the second round.[33]

On June 4, 2006, the second round of the Peruvian elections were held. With 77% of votes counted and Humala behind García 45.5% to 55.5% respectively, Humala conceded defeat to Alan García and congratulated his opponent's campaign stating at a news conference "we recognise the results...and we salute the forces that competed against us, those of Mr Garcia".[34]


On June 12, 2006, Carlos Torres Caro, Humala's Vice Presidential running mate and elected Congressman for the Union for Peru (UPP), stated that a faction of the UPP would split off from the party after disagreements with Humala to create what Torres calls a "constructive opposition". The split came after Humala called on leftist parties to form an alliance with the UPP to become the principal opposition party in Congress. Humala had met with representatives of the Communist Party of Peru – Red Fatherland and the New Left Movement. Humala stated that the opposition would work to "make sure Garcia complies with his electoral promises" and again stated that he would not boycott García's inauguration on July 28, 2006.[35][36]

On August 16, 2006, prosecutors in Peru filed charges against Humala for alleged human rights abuses including forced disappearance, torture, and murder against Shining Path guerillas during his service in San Martín.[37][38] Humala responded by denying the charges and stating that he was "a victim of political persecution". He said the charges were "orchestrated by the Alan Garcia administration to neutralize any alternative to his power".[39]

2011 election[edit]

Humala with his wife

Humala ran again in the Peruvian general election[40] on April 10, 2011, with Marisol Espinoza his candidate for First Vice President and Omar Chehade as Second Vice President.

On May 19, at National University of San Marcos and with the support of many Peruvian intellectuals and artists (including Mario Vargas Llosa with reservations), Ollanta Humala signed the "Compromiso en Defensa de la Democracia".[41][42] He campaigned as a center-left leader with the desire to help to create a more equitable framework for distributing the wealth from the country's key natural resources, with the goal of maintaining foreign investment and economic growth in the country while working to improve the condition of an impoverished majority.

Going into the June 5 runoff election, he was polling in a statistical tie with opponent Keiko Fujimori.[43] He was elected the 94th president of Peru with 51.5% of the vote.


After the news of the election of Ollanta as president the Lima Stock Exchange experienced its largest drop ever,[44][45][46] though it later stabilised following the announcement of Humala's cabinet appointees, who were judged to be moderate and in line with continuity.[citation needed] However he was also said to have inherited "a ticking time bomb of disputes stemming in large part from objections by indigenous groups to the damage to water supplies, crops and hunting grounds wrought by mining, logging and oil and gas extraction" from Alan Garcia.[47] Though he promised the "poor and disenfranchised" Peruvians a bigger stake in the rapidly growing national economy, his "mandate for change...[was seen as] a mandate for moderate change"; his moderation was reflected in his "orthodox" cabinet appointees and his public oath on the Bible to respect investor rights, rule of law and the constitution.[48] He was sworn-in on 28 July 2011.

As part of his "social inclusion" rhetoric during the campaign, his government, led by Prime Minister Salomon Lerner Ghitis, established the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion in order to coordinate the efficacy of his social programmes.


Ollanta Humala expressed sympathy for the regime of Juan Velasco Alvarado, which took power in a bloodless military coup on October 3, 1968, and nationalized various Peruvian industries whilst pursuing a favorable foreign policy with Cuba and the Soviet Union.[49]

During his presidential candidacy in 2006 and his run for the presidency that he ultimately won in 2011, Humala was closely affiliated with other pink tide leaders in Latin America in general and South America in particular. Prior to taking office in 2011, he toured several countries in the Americas where he notably expressed the idea of re-uniting the Peru–Bolivian Confederation. He also visited Brazil, Colombia, the United States, and Venezuela.


In February 2016, amidst the Peruvian Presidential Race, a report from the Brazilian Federal Police implicated Humala as recipient of bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company, in exchange of assigned public works. President Humala rejected the implication and has avoided speaking to the media on the matter.[50][51]


During the Peruvian presidential election in February 2016, a report by the Brazilian Federal Police implicated Humala in bribery by Odebrecht for public works contracts. President Humala denied the charge and avoided questions from the media on that matter.[52][53] In July 2017, Humala and his wife were arrested and held in pre-trial detention following investigations into his involvement in the Odebrecht scandal.[10][54]

In January 2019, Peruvian prosecutors stated that they had enough evidence to charge Humala and his wife with laundering money from both Odebrecht and the Government of Venezuela.[55]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cruz, Diego Sánchez dela (July 6, 2014). "Ollanta Humala consolida el modelo liberal en Perú". Libre Mercado (in Spanish). Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  2. ^ Staff, Reuters (October 30, 2013). "Peru's Humala reshuffling Cabinet in investor-friendly move". Reuters. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Diario Hoy, October 31, 2000, PERU, CORONELAZO NO CUAJA
  4. ^ "Peru's Humala is Washington's next "Worst Nightmare"". Institute for Policy Studies. April 24, 2006. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  5. ^ Staff, Reuters (July 21, 2011). "Leftist Humala picks centrists for Peru Cabinet". Reuters. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  6. ^ "First lady drags Peru's President to new public approval low". Perú Reports. June 16, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  7. ^ "The Prosecutor Investigating Peru's Powerful First Lady Has Been Fired". www.vice.com. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  8. ^ Staff, Reuters (July 27, 2016). "Anti-mining politician freed from jail in Peru slams government". Reuters. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  9. ^ "Peru: Humala Submits to the United States and the Mining Industry". NACLA. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  10. ^ a b McDonnell, Adriana Leon and Patrick J. "Another former Peruvian president is sent to jail, this time as part of growing corruption scandal". latimes.com.
  11. ^ Justin Vogler (April 11, 2006). "Ollanta Humala: Peru's Next President?". upsidedownworld.
  12. ^ (in Spanish) (this cannot be correct because the article on Ulises Humala says he is still alive) explored.com.ec, January 5, 2005, Perú: Humala se compara con Chávez y Lucio Gutiérrez Archived August 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.]
  13. ^ "Historia de Ollanta" November 1, 2000 BBC Mundo (in Spanish)
  14. ^ "Toquepala Prod. Unaffected by Rebellion". BNamericas. October 31, 2000. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Bid to end Peru rebellion peacefully" November 2, 2000 BBC News
  16. ^ Libón, Oscar (May 23, 2011). "Montesinos: "Levantamiento de Locumba facilitó mi fuga del país"". Correo. Lima. Archived from the original on June 28, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  17. ^ (in Spanish) BBC, January 4, 2005, Perú: insurgentes se rinden
  18. ^ "Ollanta Se Reencaucha" April 25, 2002 Caretas magazine
  19. ^ "Ollanta Humala chosen as PNP-UPP presidential candidate" Archived March 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine December 6, 2005 University of British Columbia-Peru Elections 2006
  20. ^ "Pérez de Cuéllar no avala a UPP" December 6, 2005 Peru 21 (in Spanish) Archived March 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ (in Spanish), El Universal, February 6, 2006, "Antauro Humala dice que su hermano Ollanta es el 'capitán Carlos'"
  22. ^ Chrystelle Barbier "Le candidat nationaliste péruvien, Ollanta Humala, accusé de «tortures»" February 26, 2006 Le Monde (in French)
  23. ^ Jorge Ramos, "Humala admite que se llamó Cap. Carlos" Archived June 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Peru 21
  24. ^ (in Spanish), El Universal, March 17, 2006, "Padre de Ollanta Humala pide amnistía para jefes guerrilleros"
  25. ^ Interview with Ollanta Humala Audio (needs Windows Media Player) (in Spanish) Archived September 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Press Conference Speech by Ollanta Humala Video (needs Windows Media Player) El Comercio (in Spanish) Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Elena Tasso de Humala, mother of candidate Ollanta Humala, calls for homosexuals to be shot" March 23, 2006.
  28. ^ "Presidential Election Results". Archived from the original on September 3, 2006.
  29. ^ "Peru Ex-Spy Chief Says Candidate for President Aided His Escape" May 21, 2006 The New York Times
  30. ^ Maxwell A. Cameron "Analysis of Audio Tape by Vladimiro Montesinos Concerning Ollanta Humala" Archived June 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine May 20, 2006 Peru Election 2006: University of British Columbia
  31. ^ Video of García-Humala Presidential Debate Peruvian National Television Archived May 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ El Universal, May 30, 2006, "Montesinos: Humala is a political "pawn" of Chávez and Castro"
  33. ^ Carla Salazar, "Peruvian Candidate Warns of Voting Fraud" May 24, 2006 CBS News Archived February 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Garcia wins to become Peru president" June 5, 2006 Al-Jazeera
  35. ^ "Union for Peru Party Splits in Spat With Humala" June 12, 2006 Bloomberg
  36. ^ "Humala dice que no dará tregua a Alan García" Peru 21 Archived February 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ "Humala facing rights abuse claims" August 17, 2006 BBC News
  38. ^ Greg Brosnan, "Peru nationalist Humala faces human rights charges" August 16, 2006 Reuters
  39. ^ "Humala: I am a Victim of Political Persecution" September 1, 2006 Prensa Latina Archived February 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ "Vargas Llosa reiteró su respaldo a Ollanta Humala a través de video". Elcomercio.pe. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  42. ^ Mario Vargas Llosa under fire for Peru election endorsement, Rory Carroll, The Guardian, April 28, 2011
  43. ^ "Peru Elections Near: A Look at the Candidates". WOLA, June 1, 2011.
  44. ^ Carroll, Rory; correspondent, Latin America (June 6, 2011). "Leftwinger Ollanta Humala's narrow win in Peru unnerves markets" – via www.theguardian.com.
  45. ^ S.A.P, El Mercurio (June 6, 2011). "Bolsa de Perú registra la mayor caída de su historia tras el triunfo de Humala - Emol.com". Emol.
  46. ^ "Bolsa de Valores registra la mayor caída en su historia - Perú21". June 10, 2011. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  47. ^ CARLA SALAZAR, Associated Press. "Peru's Garcia leaves conflicts unresolved". Retrieved July 30, 2011.[dead link]
  48. ^ Mapstone, Naomi (July 7, 2011). "Peru's president to face rebalancing act for rural poor". FT.com. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  49. ^ Simon Tisdall "Another angry neighbour for Bush" April 4, 2006 The Guardian
  50. ^ Leahy, Joe. "Peru president rejects link to Petrobras scandal". FT.com. Financial Times. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  51. ^ Post, Colin. "Peru: Ollanta Humala implicated in Brazil's Carwash scandal". www.perureports.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  52. ^ Leahy, Joe. "Peru president rejects link to Petrobras scandal". FT.com. Financial Times. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  53. ^ Post, Colin. "Peru: Ollanta Humala implicated in Brazil's Carwash scandal". Peru reports. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  54. ^ "Peru's ex-presidents Humala and Fujimori, old foes, share prison". Reuters. July 14, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  55. ^ Martin, Sabrina (January 15, 2019). "Peru: Prosecutors Claim Humala Campaign Financed by Venezuela, Odebrecht". PanAm Post. Retrieved January 20, 2019.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New office Leader of the Nationalist Party
Political offices
Preceded by
Alan García
President of Peru
Succeeded by
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Fernando Lugo
President pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations
Succeeded by
Dési Bouterse