Vargas Llosa throws support behind Toledo

Peruvian author and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has thrown his support behind former president Alejandro Toledo’s bid for a second shot at the country’s highest office.

Vargas Llosa, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature last year, said a government led by Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori or left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala “would be a true catastrophe for Peru,” Radioprogramas reported.

Vargas Llosa had previously compared Fujimori and Humala to a choice between “cancer and AIDS.”

Former UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar and iconic artists Fernando de Szyszlo and Victor Delfin are also publicly backing Toledo.

Critics of Humala point to his close ties with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and say that his policies would essentially end Peru’s booming economic success over the last decade due to greater state control.

Opponents of Fujimori say they are concerned about her party’s commitment to human rights. Keiko’s father, ex-President Alberto Fujimori, is currently serving jail time for human rights violations committed during his 10-year autocratic rule in the 1990s.

Vargas Llosa’s endorsement of Toledo comes only days before Peruvians vote. The latest opinion polls, which were released last Sunday, showed Humala in first place with about 27 percent support, followed by a three-way race between Fujimori, Toledo and former primer minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent support, the top two candidates will take part in a run-off vote on June 5.

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