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Rafael López Aliaga, presidential candidate in Peru. Photo by La República.
Rafael López Aliaga, presidential candidate in Peru. Photo by La República.

'Uncle Porky,' the ultra-conservative, right-wing businessman is second in Peruvian election polls

The far-right businessman Rafael López Aliaga is running in the Peruvian elections and has been climbing the ranks of the country's most conservative upper…

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Rafael López Aliaga is a tourist businessman, member of Opus Dei, public defender of celibacy and candidate for president of Peru. He is the representative leader of the ultra-conservative and ultra-right-wing party 'Renovación Popular,' formerly 'Solidaridad Nacional,' a party linked to Fujimorism.

Recently, the candidate has doubled down on his intentions to run and is in second place in the race according to a Datum poll. 

Of the right-wing candidates, he is the one who has climbed the most in the campaign within the middle and upper classes, but does not generate much enthusiasm in the more popular classes, who relate him to figures such as Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro.

His extreme right-wing, aggressive, polemic and sometimes violent discourse seems to have placed him among the favorites to pass to the second round of the elections. Polls give him 7% of the vote, and although it seems little, compared to the 12% of the favorite candidate, it allows him to position himself in second place thus far. 

"Uncle Porky," as he is known in the country, has a monopoly of a train company that takes you to the ruins of Machu Picchu. It has accumulated years of million-dollar losses and has a debt of more than 30 million soles (about $8.3 million) owed to the Peruvian Treasury.

As if he were an "outsider" of the system, despite having been a Lima councilman and part of a political party for more than 20 years, López Aliaga's character has been generating controversial comments in which he criticizes the "gender doctrine," as he refers to some proposals on gender identity, and affirms that it will be "exterminated" if he comes to power.

In his party, macho ideas are held, such as that women who take contraceptives encourage violence and "rapes," or that Disney cartoons teach children "homosexuality."

The most 'progressive' citizens believe López Aliaga's conservatism is dangerous in a society like Peru's, where the church and pro-lifers have a heavy influence on the state and have been limiting rights. The candidate's statements regarding abortion rights have also alarmed those who have been fighting for women's sexual and reproductive rights. 

López Aliaga stated in an interview that in his government, he would put girls who are rape victims and become pregnant in a five-star hotel with swimming pool and food, for nine months, so that at the end they could decide whether to keep the baby or give it up for adoption.

That is just one example of his lack of empathy.

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