philanthropy in still incipient in Peru and much of it is sporadic. Furthermore, most corporate
philanthropy is not oriented toward widely recognized social priorities, but rather toward traditional
charity or to activities benefiting middle and upper class groups, such as support for elite private
education, fine arts, or scientific and cultural awards.
Furthermore, although some private business leaders were prominent critics of the military regime in the
1970s, their historical commitment to democracy and human rights has been weak and it remained so for
most of the 1990s. CONFIEP and other business groups publicly supported the
of 1992 and
many private sector leaders encouraged Fujimori s reelection to a third term. Only recently have they
begun to speak out in favor of restoring the rule of law and democratic institutionality.
with team members, the presidents of CONFIEP and the SNI cited fear of tax or judicial reprisals as one
factor limiting the willingness of business leaders to take a stronger stand for democracy.
In summary, Peru has a diverse and dynamic civil society. Private, nonprofit organizations assume a
great variety of responsibilities, ranging from providing basic educational and health services to
defending women's rights and monitoring the electoral process. Certain kinds of civil society
organizations are optimal partners for USAID and other donors in the effort to strengthen democracy and
human rights, expand competition, and hold government accountable. Although there is still significant
freedom of association in Peru, a number of other elements need to be addressed in order to overcome
civil society fragmentation and create a more enabling environment for longer term sectoral
The International Arena and Future Scenarios
In the wake of the problematic elections of 2000, the international arena has increased in importance for
both the Peruvian government and its domestic opponents, with the former defending the principles of
national sovereignty and non intervention (e.g., in regard to the actual electoral outcome and legitimacy
of the new government) and the latter calling for international sanctions and pressure for new elections.
In particular, the United States government and the Organization of American States have become lead
players in the post elected drama. While resisting U.S. pressures to consider stronger sanctions and
refusing to pass judgement on the legitimacy of the election outcome itself, the OAS did send a high level
mission to Lima in late June, led by Secretary General Cesar Gaviria and Canadian Foreign Minister
Lloyd Axworthy. The mission met with a wide array of actors and proposed a set of institutional reforms
that should be undertaken in the short term, involving concrete government actions as well as dialogue
and collaboration with the political opposition and civil society organizations. These include
reestablishing the independence of the Judiciary, strengthening the rule of law and separation of powers,
ensuring adequate protection of human rights and press freedom, and reforming the electoral system
In 1998 it was estimated that the 2,000 largest corporations directly donated just $35 million total, most of which
came from the two largest mining companies. Corporate leaders cite the lack of adequate tax incentives as one factor
limiting philanthropy, along with the overall instability of the national economy. Comparative studies nonetheless
suggest that tax incentives alone do not necessarily promote more private giving in the absense of other motivations.
See Caravedo 1999, and Portocarrero, Sanborn, et al, 2000.
Pensar en la re releccion le ha puesto limitaciones al Presidente Fujimori, Entrevista con Roque Benavides,
Debate Vol. XXI, No. 108, diciembre 1999 enero 2000, pp. 10 14.
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