Martín Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo [maɾˈtin alˈβeɾto βisˈkara koɾˈnexo] (listen);[a] born 22 March 1963) is a Peruvian engineer and politician who is the current President of Peru. Vizcarra previously served as Governor of the Moquegua Region (2011–2014), Minister of Transport and Communications of Peru (2016–2017), and Ambassador of Peru to Canada (2017–2018), with both of the latter two during the presidency of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.(American Spanish:
|President of Peru|
|Assumed office |
23 March 2018
|Prime Minister||Mercedes Aráoz|
Salvador del Solar
|Vice President||Mercedes Aráoz (2016–2020)|
|Preceded by||Pedro Pablo Kuczynski|
|President pro tempore of the Pacific Alliance|
|Assumed office |
24 July 2018
|Preceded by||Juan Manuel Santos|
|First Vice President of Peru|
28 July 2016 – 23 March 2018
|President||Pedro Pablo Kuczynski|
|Preceded by||Marisol Espinoza|
|Ambassador of Peru to Canada|
18 October 2017 – 23 March 2018
|Preceded by||Marcela López Bravo|
|Succeeded by||Carlos Gil de Montes Molinari|
|Minister of Transport and Communications|
28 July 2016 – 22 May 2017
|President||Pedro Pablo Kuczynski|
|Prime Minister||Fernando Zavala|
|Preceded by||José Gallardo Ku|
|Succeeded by||Bruno Giuffra|
|3rd Governor of Moquegua|
1 January 2011 – 31 December 2014
|Lieutenant||Tomás Portilla Alarcón|
|Preceded by||Jaime Rodríguez Villanueva|
|Succeeded by||Jaime Rodríguez Villanueva|
|Born||22 March 1963|
|Peruvians for Change (non affiliated)|
|Spouse(s)||Maribel Díaz Cabello|
|Children||Maribel Diana Vizcarra Diaz|
Daniela Vizcarra Diaz
Diamela Sofia Vizcarra Diaz
Martino Vizcarra Diaz
|Parents||Cesar Vizcarra Vargas|
Doris Cornejo Davila
|Alma mater||National University of Engineering|
In the 2016 general election, Vizcarra ran with the Peruvians for Change presidential ticket as candidate for First Vice President and as running mate of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. The ticket narrowly defeated Keiko Fujimori's Popular Force nomination.
Vizcarra was sworn into office as president on 23 March 2018 following the resignation of President Kuczynski. Demanding reforms against corruption, Vizcarra dissolved the Congress of Peru on 30 September 2019 and, on the same day, issued a decree for legislative elections to be held on 26 January 2020.
Vizcarra was born in Lima, the son of César Vizcarra Vargas, who was an APRA member, and Doris Cornejo, an elementary school teacher. His father was mayor of Moquegua and a 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.
Vizcarra stated his father had a lasting impact on his life.
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 while also earning a degree in Management Administration from the School of Business Administration (ESAN).
Governor of MoqueguaEdit
His political ambitions began in his home region of Moquegua, where he ran as an independent affiliated with the APRA party for the governorship in 2006, narrowly missing election. In 2008, Vizcarra led protests, known as "Moqueguazo", surrounding unequal mining payments to the community. 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.
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.
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 CommunicationsEdit
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 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.
Ambassador to CanadaEdit
After resigning from the previous ministry, he was appointed to be the Peruvian Ambassador to Canada, avoiding public attention. He only returned to Peru during the first impeachment proceedings against President Kuczynski, returning to Canada shortly thereafter.
President of PeruEdit
Following the resignation of President Kuczynski, Vizcarra returned to Peru to assume the presidency on 23 March 2018. Upon being sworn in, Vizcarra stated in regards to corruption, "we've had enough", promising to lead against such practices in the Andean nation.
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".
We must be responsible to leave a legacy to our children and the future generations of Peru.— Martín Vizcarra, 17 April 2018
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.
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.
2018 Peruvian constitutional referendumEdit
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.
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". 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". 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".
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.
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.
Dissolution of congressEdit
In the Constitution of Peru, the executive branch can dissolve congress after a second vote of no-confidence. Under former president of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the Congress of Peru made a no-confidence vote on 15 September 2017, resulting in the collapse of the Cabinet of Peru, the first vote of no-confidence during that current congressional body. Vizcarra enacted a constitutional process on 29 May 2019 that would create a motion of no confidence towards congress if they refused to cooperate with his proposed actions against corruption. For the next four months, congress delayed bills targeting corruption and postponed general elections proposed by Vizcarra.
Demanding reforms against corruption, Vizcarra called for a vote of no confidence on 27 September 2019, stating it was "clear the democracy of our nation is at risk". Vizcarra and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights criticized congress for blocking a proposal for general elections while it quickly approved nominations to the Constitutional Court of Peru without investigating the backgrounds on nominees. Vizcarra sought to reform the Constitutional Court nomination process and congress' approval or disapproval of his proposal was seen "as a sign of confidence in his administration".
On 30 September 2019, congress named a new member to the Constitutional Court of Peru, who would most likely decide disputes between congress and the presidency, ignoring his proposal for reform. Vizcarra argued that the appointment by congress was the second act of no-confidence in his government, granting him the authority to dissolve congress. This act, as well as the months of slow progress towards anti-corruption reforms, pushed Vizcarra to dissolve congress later that day, with Vizcarra stating "Peruvian people, we have done all we could". Shortly after Vizcarra announced the dissolution of congress, the legislative body refused to recognize the president's actions, declared Vizcarra as suspended from the presidency and named vice president Mercedes Aráoz as the new president of Peru. Despite this, Peruvian government officials stated that the actions by congress were void as the body was officially closed at the time of their declarations.
By nightfall, Peruvians gathered outside of the Legislative Palace of Peru to protest against congress and demand the removal of legislators while the heads of the Peruvian Armed Forces met with Vizcarra, announcing that they still recognized him as president of Peru and head of the armed forces.
In January 2020, the Constitutional Court of Peru defended Vizcarra's actions, with four judges approving and three judges disapproving of the action. On 26 January 2020, a legislative election was held to replace the dissolved congress, with the previous Fujimorist majority being replaced with many centrist parties.
Handling of COVID-19 PandemicEdit
Under Vizcarra's leadership, Peru has seen the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Latin America, with 292,004 cases and 10,045 deaths as of July 2, 2020. Vizcarra's government has responded to the pandemic by maintaining a nationwide lockdown since March 15, 2020, with all businesses except pharmacies, food vendors, financial institutions, and health facilities being closed.
During Vizcarra's inauguration ceremony, some Peruvians took to the streets to protest against the government, calling for the removal of all politicians. 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. A month later, Vizcarra's approval rating dipped to 52% according to a May 2018 Ipsos survey. By September 2018 after he had called for a referendum, thousands of Peruvians marched in support of his proposal and to protest against Congress, with Ipsos reporting that Vizcarra's approval rating reached a peak of 66% in December 2018.
Into 2019, Ipsos polls showed that support for Vizcarra began to decline early in the year, that his approval rating in April 2019 was at 44% compared to 45% disapproval and that approval ratings were higher among upper-income respondents compared to lower-income respondents. By the time Vizcarra dissolved congress, The Washington Post described him as "an unexpectedly popular president" as he dealt with "the monumental task of rooting out the South American nation’s widespread corruption". After the dissolution of congress, Vizcarra's approval rating jumped from about 40% to 75% according to the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP), while 76% of respondents recognized him as the constitutional president of Peru. Another poll by Peruvian pollster CPI found 85.1% of respondents approved of Vizcarra and 89.1% recognized him as president.
Following Peru's 2020 legislative elections that replaced an unpopular congress, The Economist wrote "By championing the fight against corruption, Mr Vizcarra has achieved the rare feat for a Peruvian president of remaining popular".
Vizcarra is described as a centrist and he has attributed his political beliefs as stemming from his father, with Vizcarra saying that his guidance made him concerned about social issues. He 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. Left-wing parties applauded Vizcarra's anti-corruption efforts, his dissolution of congress and his attempts to move forward with general elections.
|Awards and orders||Country||Date||Notes|
|Grand Master of the Order of the Sun of Peru||Peru||23 March 2018|||
|Grand Master of the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service||Peru||23 March 2018|||
|Grand Master of the Military Order of Ayacucho||Peru|
|Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry||Portugal||25 February 2019|||
|Knight of the Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic||Spain||February 2019|||
|Keys to the City of Madrid||Spain||27 February 2019|||
- In Peninsular Spanish, Vizcarra is pronounced [βiθˈkařa].
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- "Voto Informado". Voto Informado. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
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Centrist Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra took office in March ...
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Media related to Martín Vizcarra at Wikimedia Commons
- Biography by CIDOB (in Spanish)
Jaime Rodríguez Villanueva
| Governor of the Moquegua Region
Jaime Rodríguez Villanueva
José Gallardo Ku
| Minister of Transport and Communications
| First Vice President of Peru
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
| President of Peru
Marcela López Bravo
| Ambassador of Peru to Canada
Carlos Gil de Montes Molinari