Peru’s leftwing presidential candidate rattles its business elite

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Frontrunner Pedro Castillo’s embrace of Marxism has some ‘looking to get money out’ before June election

Gideon Long in Bogotá

Wearing a huge cowboy hat and carrying a giant yellow pencil — the symbol of his political party — Pedro Castillo has cut a folksy, colourful figure as he travels the length of Peru campaigning for the presidency.

But among the business elite in Lima and in the boardrooms of the mining companies that generate much of Peru’s wealth, no one is amused.

Castillo, a 51-year-old school teacher and union leader, emerged from political obscurity to win the first round of the election last month on an unashamedly Marxist ticket.