Javier Velásquez named as Peru’s new Prime Minister

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Javier Velásquez, head of Peru’s legislature has been named as Prime Minister by President Alan Garcia. Velásquez is from the President's party, APRA, and replaces Yehude Simon as Prime Minister after Simon resigned on July 10. Simon resigned due to a crisis over indigenous land rights which caused 34 deaths, the worst violence Peru has seen in 20 years.

President Alan Garcia
Image: Manuel González Olaechea.

Along with Velásquez’s new role President Garcia has also reshuffled the cabinet and named seven new ministers. Former police chief Octavio Salazar has been named as interior minister.

Opposition Congressman Fredy Otarola has criticized Velásquez, claiming “Velásquez is more of the same” and that he does not "represent change."

Garcia, whose presidency runs out in 2011, has faced several tough years. According to the Agence France-Presse, Peru has gone from a economic strength to a weakness and Garcia also has record disapproval figures, with 67 percent of those polled having a negative opinion of him.