Peru’s Castillo takes aim at mining firms
June 16, 2021 - The sudden rise of radical-left outsider Pedro Castillo has rattled Peru’s political and business elite and could have a major impact on the vital mining industry in the world’s No.2 copper producer.
Castillo has claimed victory in the presidential election after clinging on to a narrow lead as the lengthy vote count ended.
He ended the count 44,058 votes ahead of rightwing rival Keiko Fujimori, who has pledged to fight the result and has yet to concede.
The result of the ballot held on June 6 has not been formally announced by electoral authorities, but Castillo hailed the win on Twitter.
The primary school teacher was little known before winning the first round of the election, and campaigned on a promise to help the poor by introducing higher taxes on powerful mining firms in this copper-producing nation.
A Reuters analysis of government data shows this would hit Chinese mining firms hardest, if Castillo were to become president and follow through with his plan.
Chinese mining firms have become a key player in Peru's mining industry. The Asian country is by far the largest buyer of Peruvian copper, used for everything from construction to the development of electric cars.
With no experience in public office, and having frequently contradicted himself on the campaign trail, Castillo will face a splintered and right-leaning incoming Congress that is unlikely to sign off on his economic plans, especially any nationalisations.