Pedro Castillo and the 500-Year-Old Lima vs Rural Divide

By Brendan O’Boyle

A vast, ancient gap in living standards helps explain the presidential frontrunner’s appeal.

Correction appended below In 1532, in Peru’s highland region of Cajamarca, the Spanish invader Francisco Pizarro captured the last Incan emperor, Atahualpa, in a surprise massacre that ensured the empire’s demise. Today, Cajamarca may once again be the site of a historic turning point – as the home of Pedro Castillo, the leftist farmer and schoolteacher who is now the frontrunner to win a June 6 runoff and become Peru’s next president. His insurgent campaign has emphasized the vast gap in living standards between Lima and the countryside, a problem with roots going back to the...

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