While these works are viewed positively by citizens in hard hit areas, they also are seen as election
inspired assistentialism, detrimental to the ability of local governments to respond to local needs.
Comision Formalizadora de la Propiedad Informal
) is one of the most politicized agencies
in the electoral campaign of 2000. With PROFAM (
Programa de Lotes Familiares
) as its new
counterpart, Cofopri has provided formal, legal titles to more than half a million heads of household who
invaded and squatted on land on the southern outskirts of Lima, along with promises to deliver
housing, electricity, water, and sewage. The programs are aimed at helping to remedy a land and housing
deficit, but the process of land titling, which coincided with the 2000 campaign, and the fact that land
distribution is slated to occur only after the elections, have renewed charges that the Government was
using public resources for electoral purposes.
Cara Mala: Concentration of Power
One of the characteristic features of the current government has been its tendency to centralize the
administration of resources in Lima, particularly in the Executive branch. The budget breakdown for
1998 among the 25 main public sector institutions indicated that only two ministries, the Ministry of the
Presidency (MIPRE) and the Ministry of Economy and Finances (MEF), consumed more than half of the
entire national budget (53%). Add the ministries of Defense, Interior, and Transportation and
Communications, and the resources consumed by just these five institutions represented three quarters of
the entire national budget, a trend that has continued.
This concentration of resources, due to the different decentralized programs in sectors like education,
agriculture, energy, health, and sanitation administered by the MIPRE and the MEF from Lima, has
adversely affected the accountability of the public sector. Resources are dispatched based more on
political than technical criteria. Decisions are often made from Lima without taking into account regional
diversity or needs.
MIPRE itself has risen from insignificance (0% in 1990) to become one of the
government's most powerful ministries, with a budget equivalent to that of the Education, Health, Labor,
and Agriculture ministries combined. In 1996 1998, spending rose to above 20% of a much larger
budget, more than double the Defense budget.
The MIPRE manages virtually every facet of social
Executive Branch Accountability
As noted previously, Peru never consolidated structures of horizontal accountability or created a
system of checks and balances among branches of government. Under Fujimori, the notion of checks and
balances on the exercise of power by the Executive branch has been virtually obliterated, though, again,
the 1993 Constitution endorses the notion of accountability.
Interview with Eva Boyle,
Diaconia para la Justicia y la Paz
, Piura, March 2, 2000. Interview with Maque Ruiz,
CIPCA, March 3, 2000. Interview with Luz Maria Helguerro, Director of Piura daily newspaper,
3, 2000. Helguerra affirmed that there were 20 different agencies funded by the central government carrying out
works in the department of Piura.
Regarding the concentration of budget authority, see Gustavo Guerra Garcia.
Reforma del Estado en el Per :
Pautas para reestructurar el Poder Ejecutivo
. Lima: Agenda Per , 1999, especially pp. 81 129.
Per en N meros,
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