2007.04.30: April 30, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Peru: Politics: Awards: Stanford Daily: Toledo contacts Fresno Bee to complain that an Associated Press story inaccurately reported he was returning to Peru to face fraud charges

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Friend of the Peace Corps: Alejandro Toledo : Alejandro Toledo: Newest Stories: 2007.04.10: April 10, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Peru: Politics: Fresno Bee: Ex-President Toledo to return to Peru to face fraud charges : 2007.04.30: April 30, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Peru: Politics: Awards: Stanford Daily: Toledo contacts Fresno Bee to complain that an Associated Press story inaccurately reported he was returning to Peru to face fraud charges

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-183-133.balt.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 11:31 am: Edit Post

Toledo contacts Fresno Bee to complain that an Associated Press story inaccurately reported he was returning to Peru to face fraud charges

Toledo contacts Fresno Bee to complain that an Associated Press story inaccurately reported he was returning to Peru to face fraud charges

No such charges were filed, he said, and the rumors were played up by his opponents in a continuing effort to discredit him. When asked if he’ll run for president again in 2011, as some have speculated, he says it would be premature to weigh in. “I’ll tell you this much,” he said later in the interview. “I’m not finished yet.” “One thing I’m proud of is that whatever small contribution I made was done within a framework of absolute respect to democratic principles,” he said. “And, damn, it has been so hard.” He said sometimes that the free press got on his nerves, but he never cracked down. He said that he worked largely within the constraints of democracy in a developing country during a time of turmoil has made him popular among many American scholars. Alejandro Toledo grew up in Chimbote and was befriended by Peace Corps Volunteers who helped him study in the United States. Later he was a language instructor in Brockort's Peace Corps/College Degree Program. Elected President of Peru in 2000, Toledo invited the Peace Corps to return to Peru after a 27 year absence. He is presently a visiting Fellow at Stanford University.

Toledo contacts Fresno Bee to complain that an Associated Press story inaccurately reported he was returning to Peru to face fraud charges

Toledo: a man and his vision

Former Peruvian president reflects on his past and looks toward the future in exclusive interview

April 30, 2007

By James Hohmann

Caption: Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo received the New York Democracy Forum's Presidential Medal this month, displayed here at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. James Hohmann

High in the foothills, far removed from the bustling core of campus, sits the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. The low-profile institution, up a narrow and curvy road that is blocked by a gate at night, is the closest thing Stanford has to a monastery for its intellectuals.

This is where former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo does his thinking. In a small, austere studio with windows overlooking purple wildflowers, the retired head of state ponders what’s next. His unlikely rise from penniless villager to Stanford Ph.D. (1993) to president made headlines and prompted the University to select him as its commencement speaker in 2003.

Since his five-year term ended last July, the 62 year old has been making up for lost time with his wife and daughter, traveling the world to converse with allies and thinking about what comes next.

In his first interview granted since stepping down as president, given exclusively to The Daily over two sessions last week, Toledo reflected on his legacy and articulated a comprehensive plan to battle poverty.

“Government day-to-day is very absorbing,” he said. “It’s been such a soft landing that it is incredible. I’m glad that I now have the time and space to process and digest my thoughts.”

He has just come back from 18 days on the road when he sat down for 90 minutes on Friday. The bags under his eyes attested to his intense travel regimen and five years as chief executive of a country with almost 30 million people.

While most his age would look to retirement, Toledo talks energetically about dedicating his life to the “war” against poverty and for democracy, two concepts which he inextricably links when he talks about his view of the world and of Latin America.

“When I’m involved in this fight as an Indian soldier, I don’t feel too tired,” he said. “It is the cause I’ve decided to dedicate the rest of my life to. What the hell.”

When a national leader like Toledo steps down, Provost John Etchemendy Ph.D. ‘82 said in an email to The Daily, “it is essential that he have a chance to ‘decompress.’”

Etchemendy said the University was honored to have Toledo, the only former head of state with an appointment, “to reflect on his experiences and perhaps record those reflections; to think about the future and perhaps retool for new endeavors; and to share what he has learned with students and colleagues.”

At one point during his presidency, polls showed that Toledo’s approval rating hovered around 10 percent. Toledo said that after he peacefully turned over power to his successor last year, his popularity in the country dramatically increased.

“I’m not a good judge of my own administration,” he said. “Let history judge the results of what I did.”

But while the former leader has his vocal critics at home, including successor Alan Garcia, Toledo has been heavily praised by scholars in the Ivory Tower.

Toledo recently accepted an offer from Political Science Prof. Larry Diamond to be a distinguished scholar next year at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, which is part of the University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).

Diamond, who is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and coordinator of the democracy program at FSI, said that Toledo is genuine, authentic and a truly historical figure.

“He came through a very turbulent period in Peruvian politics,” Diamond said. “He’s not just a figure of the past. He’s very determined to have an impact on the future.”

Toledo wore a collared blue shirt with two buttons undone and a pair of Armani Exchange blue jeans. His black hair is graying a bit, but he’s still the firebrand he was on the stump when he gets started about something he wants to talk about.

He said that loyalists to rival Alberto Fujimori worked overtime to fight the man who led the coalition that brought down the Peruvian government.

“Fujimori never forgot what I did,” Toledo said. “They made my life impossible.”

Toledo first contacted The Daily to complain that an Associated Press story, which had been printed in this newspaper, inaccurately reported he was returning to Peru to face fraud charges. No such charges were filed, he said, and the rumors were played up by his opponents in a continuing effort to discredit him.

Toledo, the first indigenous man elected president of Peru in the modern era, said he inherited a country with fragile democratic institutions in the depths of recession.

“For people, it was difficult to swallow that the person in the palace is not one of them,” he said. “There were some doses of racism and skepticism. It wasn’t easy, but I stuck to it. I respect the press, but I never changed my direction because of fabricated news. In the end, I thank God that it paid off.”

Last November, he went to Nicaragua with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to supervise its presidential election. Earlier this month, he sent a letter to leaders worldwide calling on them to address human rights abuses in Myanmar (Burma). Two weeks ago, the New York Democracy Forum awarded Toledo with their Presidential Medal for his support of democracy.

On May 24, he will receive the Presidential Award from the Bay Area Youth Fund, an institution that promotes the first child of a poor family to attend higher education. He’s opened up a center to support democracy and development, with offices in Spain and Lima, Peru’s capital.

He has even sold movie rights to his story.

When asked if he’ll run for president again in 2011, as some have speculated, he says it would be premature to weigh in.

“I’ll tell you this much,” he said later in the interview. “I’m not finished yet.”

“One thing I’m proud of is that whatever small contribution I made was done within a framework of absolute respect to democratic principles,” he said. “And, damn, it has been so hard.”

He said sometimes that the free press got on his nerves, but he never cracked down. He said that he worked largely within the constraints of democracy in a developing country during a time of turmoil has made him popular among many American scholars.

“I consider him a dedicated democrat,” said FSI senior fellow and Political Science Prof. Michael McFaul in an email to The Daily, “but also someone who is trying to understand the very complex relationship between democracy and development.”

Toledo, a self-described disciple of democracy, said that his beloved form of government needs to deliver results for the people in the developing world. He said he worries as Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela, riles up anti-American and anti-democratic sentiment in Latin America.

“The Chavezes of Latin America are capitalizing on the fertile land for the emergence of populism,” he said. “That land is fertile as a result of our inability in the last 100 years to reduce poverty and put something concrete to the meaning of democracy.”

Papers — some in Spanish, others in English — were spread out on the desk of Toledo’s cloistered office, where he is writing two books. The first is an update on a book he wrote more than a decade ago about his life story. The second will detail his plan for fighting poverty. They are expected to be released toward the end of 2008.

His wife, Eliane Karp, is lecturing in the anthropological sciences department at the University. Their daughter will enter the economics department’s Ph.D. program in the fall, with an emphasis on the economics of the environment.

Toledo said that he is trying to do academic research with “deliberate policy implications for the fight against poverty.” The war, he suggests, can be waged on four fronts.

First, he said government must be willing to provide direct assistance to the absolute poorest on the condition that pregnant women get prenatal care and take their children to be vaccinated.

During his presidency, Toledo said he instituted a program when he was president that gave direct welfare to the poorest women because they are thriftier than their spouses and less prone to throw it away on alcohol. But his policy team had to audible when the men started taking the money from the women.

“We gave them whistles,” Toledo quipped. “Then all the women came out and beat the hell out of the guy.”

Second, he believes, investors and government should support small business and family enterprise with micro-credit.

“Those poor people in the High Andes,” he said, “have shown that they repay faster and better than the big multinationals.”

One minute, he is sitting calmly in the library of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. The next, he jumps out of his chair and paces excitedly in circles around the small table. His smile brims, voice raises and arms wave. He talks so fast that his words, but not ideas, start to jumble over one another.

The third action he offers is long-term investment in nutrition and health for small children.

“A mother who is malnourished,” he said, “will produce a malnourished child.”

The final ingredient in his recipe for battling poverty is a long-term investment in education infrastructure, but this, he said, requires the longest-term thinking.

“It takes 18 or 19 years to see the results of that investment,” he said, noting that the gains of reforms he put in place while president will not be felt for decades. “I made decisions not for the next election but for the next generation.”

Toledo was seen as a disappointment in some quarters when he left office because even though the economy grew at 6.5 percent during his final year in the presidency, most Peruvians continued to subsist on less than $2 a day. After Toledo set his own salary at $216,000 (he later lowered it under public pressure), he was derided as an elite.

Diamond complimented Toledo for his commitment to democracy.

“He’s left of center but very conscious of how you need to work through the market mechanisms,” he said.

Toledo was born in Cabana, a small Andean Indian village 12,000 feet above sea level. When he went to study at the University of San Francisco in the late 1960s on a soccer scholarship, he was the only one of 16 children in his family to attend college.

After struggling to learn English as an undergraduate, he won admission to the University’s School of Education and picked up a master’s degree while on the Farm (1972).

Later, he consulted for the World Bank and lectured on economics. After serving as an economics minister and managing an institute on economic development, he threw his hat into the race for president.

Critics considered his bid fanciful; few thought he could win. He was challenging Fujimori, an autocrat who drew ire from the international community for human rights abuses.

This rags-to-riches success story, Toledo said, is “a statistical error.”

“By an accident, I am free,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “I am free because I can choose. Millions of people are not free because they are sentenced to live in poverty. I want to do the best I can to free my people.”

Toledo’s sees democracy being undermined without reduction in poverty.

“Freedom and democracy is not just going to vote on Election Day,” he said. “You cannot have democracy if you have a lot of noise in the streets and in your stomach.”

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: April, 2007; Friends: Alejandro Toledo; Figures; Peace Corps Peru; Directory of Peru RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Peru RPCVs; Politics; Awards; Peace Corps Library; Peace Corps Countries of Service; Peace Corps History; Peace Corps Message Board; Peace Corps Headlines

When this story was posted in May 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
PCOL serves half million Date: May 1 2007 No: 1120 PCOL serves half million
PCOL's readership for April exceeded 525,000 visitors - a 50% increase over last year. This year also saw the advent of a new web site: Peace Corps News that together with the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps serve 17,000 RPCVs, Staff, and Friends of the Peace Corps every day. Thanks for making PCOL your source of news for the Peace Corps community. Read more.

Peace Corps News Peace Corps Library Peace corps History RPCV Directory Sign Up

May 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: May 3 2007 No: 1128 May 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Tschetter flew to Manila to support search for missing PCV 15 Apr
Michael O'Hanlon writes: A ruthless foe 24 Apr
Dodd calls for 'surge of diplomacy' on Iraq 13 Apr
Tony Hall works with Opportunity International 22 Apr
Mark Gearan Calls for Service, engaged constituency 20 Apr
Timothy Obert sentenced in molestation case 20 Apr
Moyers indicts news media on Iraq reporting 19 Apr
Chris Matthews to moderate May 3 GOP debates 18 Apr
Garamendi votes to kill LNG terminal 10 Apr
Scheper-Hughes receives William Sloan Coffin Award 7 Apr
Petri outraged at Student Loan Corruption 6 Apr
Dodd wants to expand Peace Corps to 100,000 4 Apr
John Sherman's opera "Biafra" now on web 2 Apr
Peter Navarro writes "The Coming China Wars" 30 Mar
Carl Pope writes: 2% solution for global warming 28 Mar
Philippe Newlin lectures on wine 28 Mar
DRI launches program to improve Healthcare in Ghana 26 Mar
Gabriela Lena Frank's Compadrazgo debuts in Columbus 26 Mar
Reed Hastings appointed to Microsoft Board of Directors 26 Mar
Shays supports National Public Service Academy 23 Mar
Margaret Krome writes: Peace vigil appropriate response 21 Mar
Al Kamen writes: Clinton fired Prosecutors too 21 Mar

Suspect confesses in murder of PCV Date: April 27 2007 No: 1109 Suspect confesses in murder of PCV
Search parties in the Philippines discovered the body of Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell near Barangay Batad, Banaue town on April 17. Director Tschetter expressed his sorrow at learning the news. “Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served,” he said. Latest: Suspect Juan Duntugan admits to killing Campbell. Leave your thoughts and condolences .

Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps Date: April 15 2007 No: 1095 Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps
Warren Wiggins, who died at 84 on April 13, became one of the architects of the Peace Corps in 1961 when his paper, "A Towering Task," landed in the lap of Sargent Shriver, just as Shriver was trying to figure out how to turn the Peace Corps into a working federal department. Shriver was electrified by the treatise, which urged the agency to act boldly. Read Mr. Wiggins' obituary and biography, take an opportunity to read the original document that shaped the Peace Corps' mission, and read John Coyne's special issue commemorating "A Towering Task."

March 14, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: March 14 2007 No: 1074 March 14, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Evacuated PCVs attend Festival on the Niger in Mali 23 Feb
Tom Bissell tells the story of how Vietnam came home 13 Mar
Mike Honda cites Japan's Sex Slavery 8 Mar
Donna Shalala co-chairs presidential commission 7 Mar
Sixth Anniversary of Disappearance of PCV Walter Poirier 6 Mar
Sam Farr was de-selected during Peace Corps Training 6 Mar
Elaine Jones would be good fit for NAACP President 6 Mar
Pat Waak re-elected chairwoman of Colorado Dems 5 Mar
Astronaut Mae Jemison was PC Medical Officer 4 Mar
Guy Consolmagno blends faith and science 3 Mar
Doyle Turns Down Federal Abstinence Money 3 Mar
Owen Cylke writes: Taxi in the Rain 2 Mar
Jody Olsen receives "Founder’s Day" Award 2 Mar
Chris Dodd introduces PCV Empowerment Act 1 Mar
Michael O'Hanlon writes: Iraq Deserves One More Chance 1 Mar
An Excerpt from Jan Worth's Night Blind 28 Feb
David Harde sentenced for Medical Marijuana 28 Feb
Oscar winner Helen Mirren congratulated by RPCV husband 26 Feb
RPCVs distribute mosquito nets 25 Feb
Peter McPherson new Chairman of Dow Jones 21 Feb
Arabic speakers under-utilized in Homeland Security 9 Feb
Dr. J. Michael Taylor co- founded Konbit Sante 4 Feb

February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 24 2007 No: 1070 February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Hill announces Draft Accord in North Korea Nuclear Talks 12 Feb
Dodd builds connections in New Hampshire 19 Feb
PCVs accused of counterinsurgency activities 19 Feb
Harris Wofford declares support for Obama 18 Feb
Tschetter becomes the first Director to visit Malawi 16 Feb
New Fellows Program at Yale University 15 Feb
Sidney Slover helps start donut production in Honduras 16 Feb
Kevin O'Donnell's Daughter and Granddaughter are PCVs 14 Feb
Joe Krueger helps restore Liberia's timber industry 14 Feb
Peace Corps Hippies 13 Feb
Maryland RPCVs to screen "American Idealist" on March 3 9 Feb
Aaron Kase writes: Moon over Africa 8 Feb
Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't only threat 8 Feb
Shays says he would Support McCain 8 Feb
A Mistrial for Lieut. Watada 8 Feb
Chris Matthews drops the F-bomb 8 Feb
RPCVs - Believe it or not 07 Feb
White House requests $334 Million for Peace Corps 5 Feb
Carol Bellamy writes: We need an Earth Corps 3 Feb
First Group of PCVs arrive in Cambodia 2 Feb
Mae Jemison wears red for charity 2 Feb
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts 30 Jan

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director Date: September 6 2006 No: 978 Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director
Read our story about Ron Tschetter's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was carried on C-Span. It was very different from the Vasquez hearings in 2001, very cut and dried with low attendance by the public. Among the highlights, Tschetter intends to make recruitment of baby boomers a priority, there are 20 countries under consideration for future programs, Senator Dodd intends to re-introduce his third goal Peace Corps legislation this session, Tschetter is a great admirer of Senator Coleman's quest for accountability, Dodd thinks management at PC may not put volunteers first, Dodd wants Tschetter to look into problems in medical selection, and Tschetter is not a blogger and knows little about the internet or guidelines for volunteer blogs. Read our recap of the hearings as well as Senator Coleman's statement and Tschetter's statement.

Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance Date: August 19 2006 No: 964 Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance
The purpose of Peace Corps' screening and medical clearance process is to ensure safe accommodation for applicants and minimize undue risk exposure for volunteers to allow PCVS to complete their service without compromising their entry health status. To further these goals, PCOL has obtained a copy of the Peace Corps Screening Guidelines Manual through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and has posted it in the "Peace Corps Library." Applicants and Medical Professionals (especially those who have already served as volunteers) are urged to review the guidelines and leave their comments and suggestions. Then read the story of one RPCV's journey through medical screening and his suggestions for changes to the process.

The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again Date: July 31 2006 No: 947 The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again
The LA Times says that "the Peace Corps is booming again and "It's hard to know exactly what's behind the resurgence." PCOL Comment: Since the founding of the Peace Corps 45 years ago, Americans have answered Kennedy's call: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." Over 182,000 have served. Another 200,000 have applied and been unable to serve because of lack of Congressional funding. The Peace Corps has never gone out of fashion. It's Congress that hasn't been keeping pace.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Stanford Daily

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Peru; Politics; Awards


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.