Francisco Sagasti

Francisco Rafael Sagasti Hochhausler OSP (Spanish pronunciation: [franˈsisko rafaˈel saˈɣasti xoˈxawsler] (listen); born 10 October 1944)[1] is a Peruvian engineer, academic, and author, who served as President of Peru from 2020 to 2021.

Francisco Sagasti
Francisco Sagasti Hochhausler.jpg
Sagasti in 2020
President of Peru
In office
17 November 2020 – 28 July 2021
Prime MinisterVioleta Bermúdez
Preceded byManuel Merino
Succeeded byPedro Castillo
President of Congress
In office
16 November 2020 – 26 July 2021
Vice President1st Vice President
Mirtha Vásquez
2nd Vice President
Luis Roel
3rd Vice President
Matilde Fernández
Preceded byRocío Silva-Santisteban (acting)
Manuel Merino
Succeeded byMirtha Vásquez (acting)
Maricarmen Alva
Parliamentary Spokesperson
of the Purple Party
In office
16 March 2020 – 16 November 2020
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDaniel Olivares
Member of Congress
In office
16 March 2020 – 26 July 2021
Personal details
Born (1944-10-10) 10 October 1944 (age 77)
Lima, Peru
Political partyPurple Party (2017–present)
Other political
Silvia Cristina de las Mercedes Charpentier Brenes
(m. 1993; div. 2005)
  • Amanda Sagasti Charpentier (b. 1995)
  • Francisco Sagasti Miller
  • Elsa Hochhäusler Reinisch
Alma mater

Sagasti has worked as an advisor for economic development at the International Development Research Centre, World Bank, UNCSTD and the World Economic Forum. After the 1992 Peruvian constitutional crisis, Sagasti left his position at the World Bank to return to Peru. In 2016, he helped found the centrist Purple Party with Julio Guzmán.[2] Following the dissolution of congress in 2019, he was elected into congress in January 2020, serving from March to November 2020 as a Member of Congress, representing the Lima constituency.[3]

Following the removal of Martín Vizcarra, President of Congress Manuel Merino became President of Peru after a controversial express impeachment due to allegations of "moral incapacity" (a 19th century concept for mental incapacity), considered a covert parliamentary coup by many people. After a week of violent repression of the massive protests, Merino resigned as the country's leader and Sagasti was elected by his fellow Congressmen to succeed Merino as president of Congress on the 16 November. The next day Sagasti succeeded him as acting President of Peru. Sagasti concluded the convoluted 2016-2021 presidential term on 28 July 2021, started by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on 28 July 2016. Originally slated to run for the Second Vice Presidency with the Purple Party ticket for 2021 Peruvian general election, Sagasti quit the ticket in order to commit to his duties as President.[4][5][6]

His government coincided with the development of social conflicts such as the agrarian strike in Ica, Piura and La Libertad and Apurímac, which were resolved after the repeal of the so-called "Chlimper Law" that promoted investment in agriculture through meager labor benefits for workers from the field.[7][8] His presidency called itself a “transitional and emergency government”.

Early life and educationEdit

Francisco Sagasti was born in Lima, Peru, son of Francisco Sagasti Miller and Elsa Hochhausler Reinisch. He is the grandson of the national hero Francisco Sagasti Saldaña, victor of the Battle of Tarapacá. His mother's family emigrated from Austria and settled in Santiago de Chile.

He enrolled in the National University of Engineering, where he graduated with a degree in industrial engineering. He attained a Master's degree (MSc) in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State University, and completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in operational research and social systems science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Advisory careerEdit

Revolutionary government of PeruEdit

Sagasti has served numerous advisory roles over the decades. He was appointed as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Technological, Industrial Research and Technical Standards of Peru (ITINTEC) from 1972 to 1977. He was also an advisor to the Minister of Industry, Rear Admiral AP Alberto Jiménez de Lucio, during the revolutionary government of the Armed Forces, during which time as an advisor, he contributed to industrialization and technology matters. From the ministry, Sagasti also advised the National Research Council.

International advisingEdit

From 1978 to 1980, he was Advisor to the Vice President of the International Development Research Centre in Bogotá. Sagasti and two colleagues, Claudio Herzka and Hélan Jaworski, founded Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE) in 1980.[9] In 1982 he participated as a Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at StanfordBerkeleyUCLA, and Columbia universities. 

He was Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Allan Wagner Tizón from 1985 to 1987 while also being a member of the Advisory Council of the National Planning Institute.

In 1984 he became a member of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development and served as president of the commission from 1989 to 1990.[9]

The World Bank promoted structural adjustment to Third World countries in order to establish austerity policies in the 1980s, with such policies being reported by UNICEF as being responsible for "reduced health, nutritional and educational levels for tens of millions of children in AsiaLatin America, and Africa".[10] Sagasti was named Chief of the newly-created Strategic Planning Division of the World Bank from 1987 to 1990.[9] He became Senior Advisor to the Policy Evaluation and External Relations Departments at the World Bank in 1990.[9]

Return to PeruEdit

In 1992, Sagasti resigned from his position at the World Bank and returned to Peru following the 1992 Peruvian constitutional crisis.[9] He formed the Agenda Peru think tank to formulate plans on how to strengthen democratic norms and deter further political violence in Peru.[11] During this period, he also spread awareness and criticism of the authoritarian government of Alberto Fujimori.[11]

He was kidnapped by the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) during the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in 1996.[12] Sagasti was released a few days later and returned to Costa Rica, where he lived with his family.[13] Sagasti, upon being released, brought with him a diary of the events with the signatures of MRTA members.[11]

From 2007 to 2009, he was President of the Board of Directors of the Science and Technology Program (FINCyT) in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in the administrations of Jorge del Castillo and Yehude Simon Munaro. He was reappointed in the position between December 2011 and March 2013 under the management of Óscar Valdés Dancuart and Juan Jiménez Mayor. From 2009 to 2014, he was principal investigator of FORO Nacional/Internacional, an entity dedicated to promoting debate and consensus on critical issues for national and international development.

In the 2010s, Sagasti was a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Strategic Foresight Community.[14]

Political careerEdit

Since the founding of the Purple Party in October 2016, Sagasti helped found and served as the ideological leader of the party.[2][15] Sagasti was elected into the Congress of the Republic of Peru during the 2020 Peruvian snap parliamentary election, assuming office on 16 March 2020.

During the impeachment process of President Martín Vizcarra, he declined to support the process, demanding "that justice follow its course and that it falls with all severity at the end of his term".[16] President Vizcarra was removed from office by congress on 9 November 2020, a move Sagasti disagreed with. Vizcarra's removal was recognized as a coup by many Peruvians,[17] political analysts[18] and media outlets in the country,[19][20][21][22][23] resulting with the beginning of the 2020 Peruvian protests. The following day on 10 November, as the President of the Peruvian Congress, Manuel Merino became the new president of Peru following the line of succession established in the nation's constitution, forming a far-right government with the support of Peruvian Navy admirals.[24][25][26][27] Protests intensified against Merino until the deaths of two protesters on 14 November, resulting with the immediate resignations of the majority of Merino's ministers.[28] Five days after assuming the presidency, Merino resigned from the presidency as a result of the backlash.[29]

Presidency (2020–2021)Edit

Francisco Sagasti and his Ministerial Cabinet in the Great Hall of the Government Palace, November 2020.

On 16 November 2020, Sagasti was elected by the legislature to be the new President of Congress. Due to vacancies in the position of President and Vice President, he became President of Peru by the line of succession.[30] Upon taking office, he established his four main priorities for his temporary tenure; the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru, combatting corruption within the country, creating a stable economy and the promotion of education to rural areas.[31] Support for Sagasti's presidency was expressed by Chile, the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States.[32]

Like preceding presidents, Americas Quarterly wrote that Sagasti faced difficult relations with congress and that he will need to manage the effects of the two governments before him, including holding those responsible for violently responding to protests accountable for their actions.[11] Sagasti attempted to reform the leadership of the National Police due to their use of violence during protests, removing Commander General Orlando Velasco from leading the National Police.[33] Eighteen additional generals of the National Police resigned or were dismissed,[33][34] with Interior Minister Rubén Vargas resigning following the change to leadership.[35] Five days later Vargas' successor Cluber Aliaga would also resign in disagreement with Sagasti, defending the use of force by police saying that protesters initiated violence.[34] Sagasti was eligible to seek election for a full term, however the Purple Party nominated Julio Guzmán as their candidate for the 2021 Peruvian general election, with Sagasti on the ticket as Second Vice President.[4][5][6]

On November 27, former president Martín Vizcarra considered that Sagasti's replacement in the senior ranks "is not legal" and that the Sagasti government must "respect the institutional framework."[36] On December 1, the former president Francisco Morales Bermúdez with former Defense Ministers Julio Velásquez Giacarini, Roberto Chiabra, Jorge Kisic Wagner, Jorge Moscoso, Walter Martos and Jorge Chávez Cresta, 12 former heads of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces and former general commanders of the Army, Navy and of the Air Force described that the change in the Police was "illegal" and maintained that the decision "is contrary to the legal system, affects the morale of the National Police of Peru and undermines the work that this institution carries out.[37][38]

On December 2, journalist Nicolás Lúcar released the testimony of a former member of the deactivated Special Intelligence Group (GEIN) who revealed that an alleged half-brother of the Minister of the Interior was a leader of the Shining Path terrorist group;[39][40] information denied by Minister Vargas.[41] A few hours later, Rubén Vargas Céspedes resigned from the Ministry of the Interior.[42] He was replaced by Cluber Aliaga Lodtmann.

His government set the containment of the COVID-19 Pandemic as axes, for which it managed the purchase of 48 million vaccines from different laboratories; and the holding of the General Elections of 2021, whose schedule has been met as planned. His government coincided with the development of social conflicts such as the agrarian strike in Ica, Piura and La Libertad and Apurímac, which were resolved after the repeal of the so-called "Chlimper Law" that promoted investment in agriculture through meager labor benefits for workers from the field.[7][8]

Ideology and positionsEdit

Regarding his political ideology, Sagasti describes himself as being a centrist, stating "Since college, many leftist movements have tempted me, but I don't think you have to destroy everything to create new things. ... That is what makes me a center person. I am a person with a more reformist conception of things."[15] He has supported the removal of parliamentary immunity from the Congress of the Republic of Peru, stating that such protections are used by criminals to avoid prosecution.[15] When discussing sexual orientation and reproductive rights, Sagasti supports marriage equality and the right of abortion due to pregnancy from rape, though he opposes abortion in ordinary circumstances, stating "abortion is an extremely difficult situation ... An extreme situation of a young woman, a raped girl, who is not capable of being a mother, is not the same as that of an older person who has made her decisions and who has to accept the consequences. Each person has to be able to accept the consequences of their actions."[15] Sagasti also promoted a stricter certification process for universities in Peru, saying "Higher education is not like buying gum".[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Sagasti married Costa Rican economist Silvia Charpentier Brenes in 1993, who served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica for the National Liberation Party during their marriage and who would later become the director of the Central Bank of Costa Rica.[13] The two had a daughter and divorced in 2005.[13] Sagasti acquired Costa Rican citizenship through his marriage to Charpentier in 2008.[13]

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 1980: United Nations Medal of Peace and Paul Hoffman Prize, awarded by the Society for International Development, for "outstanding and significant contributions to national and international development."
  • 1999: Resistance Prize awarded by Caretas magazine to ten personalities who stood out during the year, due to their contributions to democratic governance in Peru.
  • 2012: Medal of the Governor General of Canada, awarded during the first visit of a Canadian Governor General (the viceregal representative of the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II) to Peru for "his efforts to strengthen relations between Peru and Canada."
  • 2013: Doctor Honoris Causa from the Continental University, Huancayo, Peru.
  • 2017: Robert K. Merton Award from the International Network of Analytical Sociology



  • El reto del Perú en la perspectiva del tercer mundo (coauthored with Jorge Bravo Bresani and Augusto Salazar Bondy). Lima, Moncloa - Campodonónico Editores Asociados, 1972.
  • Tecnología, planificación y desarrollo autónomo, Lima, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1977;
  • Ciencia, tecnología y desarrollo latinoamericano, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1981;
  • La política científica y tecnológica en América Latina, Colegio de México, 1983;
  • Imaginemos un Perú mejor, Lima, Agenda: Perú, 1999;
  • Democracia y Buen Gobierno (with Pepi Patrón, Nicolás Lynch and Max Hernández), Lima, Editorial Apoyo, 1999;
  • Development Cooperation in a Fractured global Order (with Gonzalo Alcalde), Ottawa, IDRC, 1999;
  • A Foresight and Policy Study of the Multilateral Development Banks, Stockholm, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 2000;
  • La banca multilateral de desarrollo en América Latina, United Nations Publications, 2002;
  • Knowledge and Innovation for Development, Londres, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004;
  • The Future of Development Financing: Challenges and Strategic Choices, Basingstoke, UK, Palgrave-McMillan, 2005;
  • Power, Purse and Numbers: A Diagnostic Study of the UN Budget and Finance Process and Structure (with Úrsula Casabonne and Fernando Prada), Stockholm, The Four Nations Initiative, October 2007;
  • Ciencia, tecnología, innovación. Políticas para América Latina, Lima, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2011;
  • Un desafío persistente. Políticas de ciencia, tecnología e innovación en el Perú del siglo 21 (coauthored with Lucía Málaga Sabogal). Lima, Fondo de Cultura Económica del Perú/ Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2017.

As editorEdit

  • Una Búsqueda Incierta: Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo, México, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996. Editor (con J. Salomón y C. Sachs).
  • PERÚ: Agenda y Estrategia para el Siglo 21, Lima, Editorial Apoyo, 2000. Publication coordinator.

Press workEdit


  • In 1990 he participated in a television series Local Heroes and Global Change, produced by WHGH, in Boston.
  • In 1985, he hosted a six-part television series on Pathways to Development, produced by TV Ontario, Canada.
  • Between 2005 and 2007, Francisco Sagasti designed, produced and hosted (with Zenaida Solís and Rafo León) a series of nine television episodes in the Abriendo Caminos program on economic, social and political changes in contemporary Peru.


  • CD Mónica interpreta a Sagasti. Lyrics and music by Francisco Sagasti. Interpretation by Mónica Gastelumendi (2016).[43]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Quién es Francisco Sagasti, el nuevo presidente de Perú tras la renuncia de Manuel Merino". Clarín (in Spanish). November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b El Comercio, Redacción (October 29, 2020). "Elecciones 2021: Julio Guzmán oficializa su plancha presidencial en el Partido Morado". Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  3. ^ "Conozca el perfil de los congresistas virtualmente electos y descubra toda su trayectoria política. Al 100% de actas contabilizadas. Fuente: Onpe". January 29, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Sagasti, Francisco (November 15, 2020). "Francisco Sagasti - Biography and Resume". Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Dube, Ryan (November 16, 2020). "Peru's Congress Chooses Lawmaker Francisco Sagasti as Next President". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Elecciones 2021: Julio Guzmán oficializa su plancha presidencial en el Partido Morado". Noticias El Comercio. October 29, 2020.
  7. ^ a b CORREO, NOTICIAS (2020-12-03). "Las Bambas: Se encienden las protestas en Apurímac | PERU". Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  8. ^ a b CORREO, NOTICIAS (2020-12-03). "Corredor Minero del Sur bloqueado en medio de nueva protesta en Challhuahuacho | EDICION". Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Professional and intellectual background | Francisco Sagasti". Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  10. ^ Cornia, Giovanni Andrea; Jolly, Richard; Stewart, Frances, eds. (1987). Adjustment with a Human Face: Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Growth. New York, NY: Oxford University Press USA. ISBN 978-0-19-828609-7.
  11. ^ a b c d Burt, Jo-Marie (19 November 2020). "Can Francisco Sagasti Hold Peru Together?". Americas Quarterly. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  12. ^ Dube, Ryan (2020-11-16). "Peru's Congress Chooses Lawmaker Francisco Sagasti as Next President". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  13. ^ a b c d Campos Aparte, Michelle. "Francisco Sagasti, nuevo presidente de Perú, también tiene nacionalidad costarricense". La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  14. ^ "What does the future hold for Cuba?". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Francisco Sagasti: "No hay ningún dueño del Partido [Morado]" | ELECCIONES-2020". El Comercio (in Spanish). 2019-12-04. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  16. ^ "Francisco Sagasti sobre moción de vacancia: Que la justicia siga su curso". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  17. ^ "Peru's swears in new leader as political turmoil hits nation". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  18. ^ "They threw out the president. Now Peru's anti-corruption drive looks in doubt". Los Angeles Times. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  19. ^ "Golpe de estado editorial". La República (in Spanish). 2020-11-10. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  20. ^ "Manuel Merino presentó al Gabinete de Antero Flores-Aráoz en medio de protestas NNAV |TVPE |VIDEO |VIDEOS |PAIS | VIDEOS". El Comercio (in Spanish). 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  21. ^ "Manuel Merino: crean pedido para rechazar vacancia contra Martín Vizcarra y el golpe de Estado". Líbero (in Spanish). 2020-11-11. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  22. ^ "Trujillo: miles de ciudadanos marchan contra gobierno de Manuel Merino". El Popular (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  23. ^ "Inconformes consideran toma de protesta de Manuel Merino como golpe de Estado". Noticieros Televisa (in Mexican Spanish). 2020-11-10. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  24. ^ "Cómo derrocar un Presidente". IDL-Reporteros. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-13. Spanish: Aposentado en Palacio, respaldado por una organización de ultraderecha con una larga lista de almirantes, ... Merino ha pasado su primera noche como ‘presidente’ English: Resting in the Palace, backed by a far-right organization with a long list of admirals, ... Merino has spent his first night as 'president'
  25. ^ Noriega, Carlos (12 November 2020). "Perú: la ultraderecha copó el gobierno | Bajo la presidencia de Manuel Merino tras el derrocamiento de Martín Vizcarra". Página/12. Retrieved 2020-11-13. Spanish: El gabinete ministerial del nuevo presidente Manuel Merino ... es encabezado por un miembro de la descreditada vieja guardia política, vinculado a la extrema derecha. English: The ultra-conservative right wing has taken over the Peruvian government . The ministerial cabinet of the new president Manuel Merino ... is headed by a member of the discredited political old guard, linked to the extreme right.
  26. ^ ""No sé qué les fastidia", dice el primer ministro de Perú ante las masivas protestas". EFE (in European Spanish). 12 November 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-13. Spanish: ... un Ejecutivo de "ancha base" pero que finalmente es de corte conservador, con miembros de derecha y ultraderecha. English: ... an Executive with a "broad base" but that is ultimately conservative, with members of the right and far right.
  27. ^ "Congreso peruano aprueba moción de vacancia y destituye al Presidente Martín Vizcarra". El Mercurio (in European Spanish). 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  28. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (2020-11-15). "CRISIS POLíTICAL : Titular del Interior y la mayoría de ministros renuncia a Gabinete de Ántero Flores-Aráoz | POLITICA". Peru21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  29. ^ Stefano Pozzebon, Claudia Rebaza and Jaide Timm-Garcia. "Peru's interim president resigns after just five days". CNN. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  30. ^ "Peru's Congress Selects Centrist Lawmaker To Be New Leader". Associated Press. 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  31. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (2020-11-18). "Francisco Sagasti asume compromisos para su gobierno de transición | POLITICA". Peru21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  32. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (2020-11-18). "Francisco Sagasti | Presidente Perú | Comunidad internacional saludó la asunción del nuevo presiden del Perú | NNDC | MUNDO". Peru21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  33. ^ a b "Renuncias en la Policía de Perú en rechazo a pesquisas por violencia". EFE (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  34. ^ a b "Cluber Aliaga presentó su carta de renuncia al ministerio del Interior tras cinco días en el cargo | Cluber Aliaga | Ministerio del Interior | Francisco Sagasti | POLITICA". Peru21 (in Spanish). 2020-12-08. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  35. ^ "Ministro peruano renuncia al gobierno interino tras cambio en la cúpula policial". Reuters (in Spanish). 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2020-12-03.[dead link]
  36. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (2020-11-28). "Vizcarra sobre cambio de comandancia general de la PNP: "No estoy de acuerdo, no es legal" | Francisco Sagasti | César Cervantes NNDC | LIMA". Peru21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  37. ^ "Excomandantes generales de las FFAA se pronuncian en contra del relevo de altos mandos de la PNP". Diario Expreso. 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  38. ^ PERU21, NOTICIAS (2020-12-02). "Policía Nacional: oficiales en situación de retiro de las Fuerzas Armadas rechazaron cambios en los altos mandos de la PNP Rubén Vargas nndc | LIMA". Peru21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  39. ^ "Hermano del ministro del interior fue dirigente del grupo terrorista Sendero Luminoso". EXITOSA NOTICIAS - NOTICIAS DEL PERU Y EL MUNDO (in Spanish). 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  40. ^ "ExGein Marcos Castro: Rubén Vargas es medio hermano de cabecilla terrorista Zenón 'El Zorro' Vargas". Diario Expreso. 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  41. ^ LR, Redacción (2020-12-02). "Rubén Vargas rechaza que su hermano pertenezca a Sendero Luminoso". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  42. ^ CORREO, NOTICIAS (2020-12-02). "Rubén Vargas renunció a cargo de ministro del Interior | POLITICA". Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  43. ^ "Francisco Sagasti ingresa al mundo artístico con proyecto musical de la mano de Mónica Gastelumendi". Gan@Más (in Spanish). July 4, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
Party political offices
New office Parliamentary Spokesperson of the Purple Party
Succeeded by
New political party Purple Party nominee for Second Vice President of Peru
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by President of Congress
Succeeded by
President of Peru
Succeeded by