Peru : Elite Power and Political Capture
While leftist governments have been elected across Latin America, this 'Pink Tide' has so far failed to reach Peru. Instead, the corporate elite remains firmly entrenched, and the left continues to be marginalised. Peru therefore represents a particularly stark example of 'state capture', in which an extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few corporations and pro-market technocrats has resulted in a monopoly on political power.
Post the 2016 elections, John Crabtree and Francisco Durand look at the ways in which these elites have been able to consolidate their position at the expense of genuine democracy, with a particular focus on the role of mining and other extractive industries, where extensive privatization and deregulation has contributed to extreme disparities in wealth and power.
In the process, Crabtree and Durand provide a unique case study of state development, by revealing the mechanisms used by elites to dominate political discussion and marginalize their opponents, as well as the role played by external actors such as international financial institutions and foreign investors. The significance of Crabtree's findings therefore extends far beyond Peru, and illuminates the wider issue of why mineral-rich countries so often struggle to attain meaningful democracy.