The Peruvian presidential elections, to be held in 2011, will be very important for the future of that country.  The two candidates that are in first and second places in the polls are conservative Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori running for “Fuerza 2011,” and leftist radical, leader of the “Nationalist Party,” Ollanta Humala Tasso.  Humala Tasso’s candidacy has been plagued by accusations that he is an extremist, that he has murdered and tortured police officers and that he is being financed by Hugo Chávez. He has been accused of having an extremely close relationship with Chavez and with the Venezuelan funded ALBA houses.

Ollanta Humala became the leader of the “Partido Nacionalista Peruano” (the Peruvian Nationalist Party) and ran for the presidency in 2006 on the Union por el Peru (UPP) ticket,[1] but fortunately lost in a runoff to current President Alan García when the population became fearful of his Chavista connections.

Now he plans to run in the upcoming elections and has been trying to convince voters that he has distanced himself from the Venezuelan leader.

Humala Tasso is the son of Isaac Humala, an ethnic indigenous lawyer, member of the Communist Party of Peru, and ideological leader of the “Etnocacerista movement.”[2] He is also brother of Antauro Humala, former member of the military who is now in jail for participating with Ollanta in an uprising in Andahuaylas where they attacked a police station during the Fujimori regime and allegedly tortured and killed several police officers in the year, 2000. During this revolt, some 150 former soldiers were reported to have been in a convoy attempting to join up with Humala to overthrow the government. In the aftermath, the Army sent hundreds of soldiers to capture this group but Humala and his men managed to hide until President Fujimori was impeached from office and Valentín Paniagua was named interim president. Later Humala was pardoned by Congress and allowed to return to military duty. He was sent as military attaché to Paris, then to Seoul until December 2004, when he was forcibly retired.[3] Antauro was arrested but still was a candidate for congress in the April 2006 elections.

On March 17, 2006 Humala’s campaign came under attack as his father said, “If I was President, I would grant amnesty to Shining Path terrorist, Abimael Guzmán and the other incarcerated members of his group”. He made similar statements about amnesty for Víctor Polay, the leader of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, and other leaders of the MRTA.[4]

When Ollanta Humala lost the election to Alan García, there was great relief in the region, especially in Washington, as the prospect of another country falling under Hugo Chavez’s influence seemed to disappear. However, as time passes and candidates intensify their electoral campaigns, the menace of Ollanta Humala looms once again.

Even though the allegations of an alliance with Hugo Chavez have been strongly denied by Humala Tasso and the Venezuelan President, there is mounting evidence to the contrary. During the “Nacionalista” campaign of 2005-2006, there was intelligence information that Chávez was sending money to Humala via suitcases through Bolivia, not only to finance his political aspirations, but also to create unrest and chaos in Perú. Indeed, efforts were made to block and close main avenues, to sponsor massive and violent protests in an attempt to destabilize the Toledo regime, as well as to promote a coup to place Humala and his nationalist party in power. In addition, Humala traveled several times to Caracas to meet with Chavez.

For some time now, Peruvians have been outraged at Chavez, Bolivian President, Evo Morales and Humala for illegally using their territory to establish the infamous “Houses of Alba.” The Alba Houses are being used to promote the Chavista agenda inside Peru and are seen by them as the engines for revolutionary change in the 21st century. Unlike the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), who have attacked the institutions of Colombia’s democracy from their bases in the mountains for the last 40 years, the ALBA houses are right in the middle of cities and towns. Their activists undermine democracy from within (as Chavez and Morales have already demonstrated) by taking power through democratic elections and then methodically changing laws to subvert it.”[5]

As Andrés Oppenheimer accurately points out in an interview with the Peruvian newspaper, El Comercio: “On the surface, the ALBA houses appear to be simply benevolent local associations offering literacy programs and delivering health care with Chavez-paid, Castro-supplied Cuban doctors. Local Peruvian Chavistas who operate the ALBA houses claim that they are merely engaged in charity work and point to the 5,000 impoverished Peruvians they have sent to Venezuela for eye surgery. What the ALBA house landlords fail to mention is that, at the same time, they are indoctrinating poor, mostly young Peruvians in the ideology of the extreme left and terrorism. The Cuban doctors frequently operate as Cuban intelligence officers. Although the Chavez government insists that it is not supporting the ALBA houses, Peruvian officials have said that Chavez’s financial support for the houses is being funneled through Bolivia. In the Bolivian capital of La Paz, Chavistas are building a large “Bolivarian Common Embassy.” There they have assembled a group of young Peruvians from the main cities in the south (Cuzco, Puno, and Tacna) to receive indoctrination and military training.”[6]

In reality, the intended purpose of these “houses” in Perú is to create a support system for the potential presidency of Ollanta Humala, and to help him advance Chavez’s totalitarian policies by force. Just to be clear of whom is in charge and to whom they are to pledge allegiance; there are pictures of Hugo Chávez all over the ALBA centers together with massive information on “the benefits of the Bolivarian Revolution.” ALBA workers prey on the needy and offer them free eye treatments in Venezuela and Cuba in exchange for their loyalty to the Chavista Revolution and to Ollanta Humala. They are told to vote for the leftist candidate, convince their friends and family to do so in order for them to receive the aid they need. Many of the people that underwent eye surgery were later found participating in violent protests led by Humala.

The people joining the Chavez – Alba project are being trained to silence critics and to ultimately take over national and international property to promote and solidify the Bolivarian Revolution. In summary, these are centers of indoctrination for future Chavistas.

Not only is money being sent through suitcases. There are individual couriers that illegally enter Peru with cash to be funneled to the ALBA centers, to the Venezuelan embassy in Lima and to Humala, himself. Moreover, the local newspaper, Correo, has obtained information about the bank accounts of Nadine Heredia Alarcón, Humala Tasso’s wife. This would seem to prove that Chavez is not only invested in preparing a grassroots movement to carry out his plans through the ALBA project, but that he is preparing the leadership to implement his plans in Perú.  According to financial statements, Mrs. Humala has received regular payments from two well – known Venezuelan businesses with ties to the Chávez government.

Heredia alleges that the bank transfers she has received (reportedly amounting to $500,000 in less than a year) are actually her professional fees as a communications consultant for some companies based in Venezuela. However, many locals are convinced that Heredia is trying to hide the fact that her husband’s party (PNP) would be receiving Chavista funds from Venezuela to finance his presidential campaign and aid the ALBA houses.

The Government’s reaction

In early May, the Peruvian Congress voted unanimously to investigate the functions, organization and financing of the ALBA houses to determine whether Chavez is using his oil riches to expand his political movement into Peru. The motion was presented by the Congress’ National Defense Commission and approved 96-0. The investigative commission then issued a statement giving the Justice System the authority to close the ALBA centers. This commission found that these centers were in fact centers of propaganda for Chavez’s socialist revolution. Congress members are currently developing a legal mechanism to prevent international aid from infiltrating local politics.

The Commission that investigated Chavez’s meddling through these “social” centers, revealed disturbing information about the awful conditions of the eye surgeries offered by ALBA under the project name “Operación Milagro” (Operation Miracle[7]). Operation Miracle operates in many countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and in Africa. The allegations are that the doctors performing the surgeries are intelligence agents for the Cuban and Venezuelan governments that are there to indoctrinate people. Other accusations are that they enter the country illegally through neighboring countries or using fake documentation and smuggle with them revolutionary propaganda and money to fund social unrest. The so-called “doctors” also come with a literacy campaign to “teach people to read and write,” when actually this is material used for training purposes.

The Government on Humala

The Peruvian government is also investigating Ollanta Humala and his wife. According to a local bank, “Banco de Crédito del Peru,” Nadine Heredia de Humala has been receiving monetary transfers from two Venezuelan companies: “The Daily Journal,” a local English language newspaper that has been out of circulation since November of last year, and “Venezolana de Valores” (Veneval) which offers custody, compensation and liquidation of securities in the Venezuelan market.

According to an ongoing investigation into these transfers, Mrs. Humala receives $4,000 every month from the Daily and $11,000 from Veneval. The problem is that she is supposed to serve as a correspondent, even though she has never published an article. When questioned, the representative from the Daily said that they sometimes don’t publish all the articles. Mrs. Humala must have negotiated an extremely good deal if she is getting paid for doing nothing.  When asked about how Mrs. Humala was receiving her salary in dollars when the Venezuelan government has strict control over U.S. currency, Mr. Lopez responded by saying that the Daily has accounts in several countries and from there they send the transfers. He then said he would only respond by e-mail but never got back to answer more questions.

Suspicions about the Humala’s began when Heredia de Humala used an alleged “contract” with the journalistic entity to obtain a mortgage of $100,000, which was approved by the financial institution (BCP). With this money, she bought a $160,000 house in the district of San Borja two years ago.

The president of the board of the Daily, Julio Augusto López Enríquez, born to Peruvian parents, together with other Venezuelan investors, bought the newspaper on March 1, 2006, five weeks before the 2006 Peruvian general elections. It has been reported that the business partners paid U$1,000,000 for the company. Mr. López traveled to Peru in 2006 and openly supported then-candidate Ollanta Humala.

In Caracas it is well known that Mr. Enríquez is a prominent member of the so-called “bolibourgeoisie,” which include the people that illegally became rich with Chavez. Venezuelan journalists have revealed that López is a businessman that has enterprises with Chavista members of the military from where he obtained millionaire contracts and that’s where his fortune comes from. His main “partners” are retired general Jorge Luis García Carneiro, former minister and current mayor of the state of Vargas, who was crucial in Chavez’s return to the presidency in April 2002 when he was temporarily ousted and General Clíver Alcalá Cordones, commander of the district of Valencia, Carabobo.

What has many Peruvians outraged is that in addition to being so closely associated with Chavez, it has been revealed that Mrs. Humala has a close relationship and is on the payroll of General Carlos Indacochea, part of Vladimiro Montesinos’[8] corruption ring. Indacochea’s company in Arequipa, Apoyo Total S.A., that has paid Nadine Heredia U$5,555 per month since June 2, 2007 is run by Mariela Indacochea, the former general’s sister. According to public registry records, Mariela is the person responsible for representing her brother Carlos, now an ex-felon, in all “legal, judicial, political and police matters.” It was also discovered that several family members of the Humala’s have “donated” huge amounts of cash to the campaign. The question is since they have no sources of income, where are they getting the money? Is it being sent from Venezuela to them through illegal accounts or personally through emissaries?

The Peruvian Congress is taking action to investigate the Humala’s funding, which could be illegal under Peruvian law and raises questions about where their money is coming from.

Nadine Heredia has decided not to respond saying that it is private money and that the government should investigate the current first lady’s finances, Mrs. Pilar Nores de Garcia, because she manages public funds. When asked about evidence, Mrs. Humala became upset and said she was being politically persecuted.

It is extremely important for the Humala’s to reveal who finances their political campaign especially if the “Nacionalista” wants to become president and she, first lady. Nobody is saying that the Humala’s cannot be gainfully employed, but it is awfully suspicious that their bank accounts have grown exponentially and that most of the funds are coming from Venezuela, from a Journal that doesn’t even circulate. The population seems to understand Ollanta Humala’s agenda since the polls reveal he is losing support. The Peruvian government’s reaction has been well received and hopefully they will find more evidence to set the record straight once and for all on Mr. Humala and his plans for Peru. It is also important to understand exactly how the money is getting from Chavez to Mrs. Humala and the ALBA houses. Why not answer the questions if there is nothing to hide?

Nicole M. Ferrand is a research analyst and editor of “The Americas Report” of the Menges Hemispheric Security Project. She is a graduate of Columbia University in Economics and Political Science with a background in Law from Peruvian University, UNIFE and in Corporate Finance from Georgetown University.




[1] Ibid.

[2] Justin Vogler (April 11, 2006). “Ollanta Humala: Peru’s next President?” Upsidedownworld.

[3] “Historia de Ollanta.” November 1, 2000 BBC Mundo.  (Spanish).

[4] “Antauro Humala dice que su hermano es Capitan Carlos.” February 6, 2006 El Universal (Spanish).

[5] Ibid.

[6] Andres Oppenheimer, “Alan García, Chávez y las casas del ALBA,” El Comercio, March 18, 2008.

[7] Operación Milagro (Operation Miracle) is a joint health program between Cuba and Venezuela, set up in 2005. Many critics insist that the level of Cuban medical qualifications is very low and in reality, they are “political agents” who have come to Venezuela to indoctrinate the workforce. Opposition supporters in Venezuela have called Cuban doctors “Fidel’s ambassadors.” Two defected doctors have claimed that they were told their job was to keep Chavez in power, by asking patients to vote for Chávez in the 2004 recall referendum. Operation Miracle currently operates in Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, Mali, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Suriname and Angola.

[8] Vladimiro Montesinos was long-standing head of Peru’s Intelligence Service, Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN), under President Alberto Fujimori. In 2000, secret videos were televised revealing him bribing an elected congressman to leave the opposition and join the Fujimorista side of Congress; the ensuing scandal caused Montesinos to flee the country, hastening the resignation of Fujimori.


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