Mario Vargas Llosa Breaks with the Peruvian Newspaper “El Comercio” Over Its Favoritism toward Keiko Fujimori

Mario Vargas Llosa in Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
The Hispanic-Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa in an event at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum this Monday [May 30]. Photo by J.L. Pino (EFE).

Mario Vargas Llosa Breaks with the Peruvian Newspaper “El Comercio” Over Its Favoritism toward Keiko Fujimori
The writer cancels his collaboration with the newspaper, which he says manipulates information
El País: Vargas Llosa rompe con el diario peruano ‘El Comercio’ por favorecer a Keiko Fujimori
Staff Report from Madrid May 31, 2011

The writer Mario Vargas Llosa has today solicited El País to stop sending his Sunday column Piedra de toque (Touchstone) to the Peruvian daily El Comercio, which he accuses of “manipulating information” and converting into a “propaganda machine for the Keiko Fujimori campaign”.

The Nobel laureate for Literature supports the presidential candidacy of Ollanta Humala, who he considers a less bad choice to govern the country than Keiko Fujimori, daughter of ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in prison for human rights violations and corruption.

The novelist has sent an open letter to the director of the paper, Francisco Miró Quesada, and various Peruvian media explaining why he solicited El País, which holds the rights to his Sunday articles, to cancel his collaboration with El Comercio.

“Since a handful of shareholders, led by Ms. Martha Meier Miró Quesada, took control of this paper and its proprietary group of television channels and magazines, it has converted into a propaganda machine for the Keiko Fujimori campaign which, in its eagerness to impede in every way the victory of Ollanta Humala, violates each day the most elemental notions of objectivity and journalistic ethics: its silence and manipulation of information, its distortions of the truth, the opening of its pages to lies and calumny which damage adversaries, its layoffs and intimidation of independent journalists, its resort to deceit and low blows of the kind found in tabloids that live off yellow journalism and scandal…I cannot permit my column Touchstone to appear inside this caricature of a newspaper which is supposed to be a genuine expression of freedom, pluralism, and democracy,” announced Vargas Llosa in a missive directed at the publication director which has echoed through various media in Lima and everywhere El País is read.

Vargas Llosa concluded that he was parting with El Comercio “for the second and final time”.

Sources within El Comercio told El País that the paper had published almost all of Vargas Llosa’s columns until now, including those in which he expressly asked readers to vote for Humala.

The latest presidential polls, published last Sunday [May 29], indicated a pitched battle between the two candidates and gave a small advantage of 1-3 points to Fujimori. Another survey by the Imasen company published in the daily La República assigned the advantage to Humala. A high percentage of voters are still undecided, such that the uncertainly will last until this Sunday [June 5], the date of the second round of voting.

Explore posts in the same categories: Latinoamérica, Literature, Politics, Translations

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2 Comments on “Mario Vargas Llosa Breaks with the Peruvian Newspaper “El Comercio” Over Its Favoritism toward Keiko Fujimori”

  1. Thankfully some bloggers can still write. Thank you for this read..

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