13 Apr 2012

Lawyer father embarrasses president

Family trouble for Peru's leader as idiosyncratic brothers and father provide media with a bonanza of incidents

Peru: president's family frolics

Isaac Humala is a retired Peruvian lawyer who founded an ethnic nationalist group that campaigns for the promotion of the country’s indigenous Incan heritage. Nothing wrong with that; indeed, many might suggest it is an admirable endeavour in a continent that is in danger of seeing its origins swamped by a post-colonialist culture.
The only problem is that Isaac is the father of Ollanta, Peru’s current president – and while having a vocally nationalistic father might be only slightly uncomfortable at times, when combined with the antics of his brother, it is causing considerable issues.
Reuters news agency reports that President Humala’s biggest concern is brother Antauro, who is serving a 19-year prison sentence for a failed coup attempt six years ago. Suggestions are rife that the brother receives special treatment, rumours aided by leaked videos of Antauro smoking marijuana and cavorting with girlfriends in his cell.
The brothers’ lawyer father has appealed for the president to grant Antauro a pardon, pleas that Ollanta has so far resisted. ‘I respect my father, my mother and my family,’ Reuters quotes the president as saying, ‘but it’s one thing to be Ollanta Humala and another thing to be president of the country.’

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