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Alejandro Toledo

Alejandro Toledo Manrique is the current president of Peru (2001-present). He was born in 1946, one of 16 children of a humble family of Indian peasants in the small town of Cabana, Province of Pallasca, Department of Ancash. He grew up in Chimbote, city in the Peruvian northern coast. His father was a bricklayer and his mother sold fish at markets, while he worked as a shoeshine boy.

Alejandro studied at the local state school G.U.E. San Pedro. At age 16, with the guidance of members of the Peace Corps, Toledo enrolled at the San Francisco State University on a one-year scholarship. He completed his Bachelorís degree in economics by obtaining a partial soccer scholarship and working part-time pumping gas. Later on, he completed his PhD in economics and human resources at Stanford University.

Toledo is married to the Belgian anthropologist Eliane Karp[?].

Professional Career During the past 20 years, Toledo has worked as a consultant for various international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank[?], the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE). He has also been a regular professor at ESAN[?], Peruís leading Business School. From 1991 to 1994, he was an affiliated researcher in the field of international development at the Harvard Institute for International Development[?]. Recently, Toledo was guest professor at the University of Waseda[?] and the Japan Foundation[?] in Tokyo.

Among Toledo's publications are works on economic growth and on structural reforms. His latest book, Las Cartas sobre la Mesa[?] , describes his political career which led him to found the party Peru Possible[?].

Political Career Mr. Toledo entered politics as an independent candidate for the presidency in 1995, election in which Alberto Fujimori was re-elected. He founded the Peru Possible[?] political party in 1999. He lost again the 2000 presidential election to the incumbent President Alberto Fujimori amid widespread allegations of electoral fraud. When Alberto Fujimori was removed from office by Congress, the President of Congress Valentin Paniagua[?] assumed the presidency and called for new elections. Toledo was successful in his third bid for the presidency after a close run-off election[?] with former President Alan Garcia[?]. His margin of victory was astonishingly slim (52.5% vs 47.5%) considering Mr. Garciaís abysmal track record as a left-wing populist president from 1985 to 1990. His inauguration was July 28, 2001. Since being elected the Toledo adminstration has been plagued by ongoing civil unrest, due primarily to the continuing stagnation of the Peruvian economy, which the current government's staunchly free-market, neo-liberal policies have failed to assuage.

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