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Mining projects knock down Peruvian president approval ratings to new lows

Monday, July 16th 2012 - 03:43 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Humala needs to balance benefits of mining with indigenous protests and suspicions Humala needs to balance benefits of mining with indigenous protests and suspicions

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala's approval rating fell to a fresh low in July, a year since he took office as concern grows over his handling of increasingly violent social conflicts, an opinion poll showed.

Humala's popularity fell 5 percentage points for a second consecutive month to 40%, while the number of respondents who said they disapproved of his administration rose to 51%, according to the Ipso Apollo survey.

Peru is a leading global metals supplier, but the push to develop its mineral riches has triggered dozens of conflicts due to fears over potential environmental damage and opposition from local residents who want a bigger share of the windfall.

Deadly violence in protests against Newmont 5 billion dollars Conga mine prompted calls for Humala to reshuffle his Cabinet earlier this month.

Opponents of the Newmont mine say it would cause pollution, hurt water supplies and fail to generate enough local economic benefits. Humala has backed the project as a generator of thousands of jobs and enormous tax revenues.

“The Conga conflict is the biggest single factor in explaining the deterioration in Humala's image,” said Alfredo Toreros, director of Ipso Apollo. “The difficultly for the government lies in the fact that there's no broad consensus on how to resolve it,” he added.

Humala took office on July 28 last year on pledges to include the 30% of Peruvians living in poverty in a decade-long economic boom, but mediating the conflicts has become his biggest challenge.

Toreros said, however, that Humala's predecessors had seen their approval ratings fall even lower at a similar stage of their presidential terms.

One year into his five-year term, former President Alan Garcia had an approval rating of 32% while Alejandro Toledo had just 18%.

Humala's approval rating was 45% in June and 50% May, according to Ipso Apollo. Sunday's opinion survey, which was published in the El Comercio newspaper, polled 1,210 people from July 11-13. It has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Top Comments

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  • ManRod

    I just hope his approval levels will not fall further, otherwise its clear that he will regain the nationalistic and antichilean sentimient, which lead him to presidency during his pre-presidential political life.

    Jul 16th, 2012 - 11:10 am 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    He should be bolder, more left wing, stop trying to appease interests that will always hate him regardless in the disastrous way Obama has done

    Jul 16th, 2012 - 11:51 am 0
  • ManRod

    don't agree, BK... I must admit that before he became president, I really feared him being a strong firestarter, due to his often violent, agressive and provocative statements towards Chile. Strangly and very surprisingly... since he became president, he has been less provocative than his precedessors Garcia and Toledo, and he has a very pragmatic and open policy for his country, which has made Peru the fastest growing. low inflation and stable country in South America during the last 5 years. In that aspect, I wish ... for the good of the peruvian people, that he maintains this economic path.
    Of course you want him to change it, there is nothing worse for you guys than opposition to prove being succesful... or even worse for you: former political companions of yours that recognize they were wrong, and corrected their mistakes...

    Jul 16th, 2012 - 11:41 pm 0
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