A little info to digest over your breakfast
I know that a little statistics goes down like a spoonful of sugar, so here are some for you.
Peru has 28, 300, 000 people, of whom 80% are Catholic, 45% are indigenous, 37% are mestizo, and 15% are white; 87.7% of people are literate. Official languages are castellano (what spanish is called in Peru and some other Latin American countries), Quechua, and Aymara. The last two are aboriginal languages. Quechua was the language of the Incan Empire, and apparently is spoken by 10 million people in the Andes, including in neighbouring countries. In Pampas, where I was in April, election officials needed to speak Quechua because of the very large indigenous population. Many people's first language is Quechua.
For the first round of voting, which we observed in April, Ollanta Humala ( Union Por el Peru) received 30.61% of the vote, Alan Garcia (Partido Aprista Peruano) received 24.32% and Lourdes Flores (Unidad Nacional) 23.81%. Thus, no single candidate had more than the 50% of the valid votes necessary to win. Therefore, the top two candidates, Humala and Garcia, are currently facing off in the run-off, "secunda vuelta," election. The polls place them very close, leading to some tensions.
According to materials from Transparencia, the poorest regions of Peru during this electoral campaign are Cajamara in the north (74.2% poverty), Huanuco (77.6%) and Huancavelica (84.4%) in central Peru, and Puno (79.2%) in the south. As you can well imagine, the results of the first round were widely related to poverty levels in the country.
Hope you enjoyed it.
--- Derrick Martens