Francisco Sagasti, a peacemaker in search of consensus


Correspondent in Lima

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The new interim president of Peru, the engineer Francisco Sagasti, 76, arrives to give stability to a troubled country. Of calm character, appreciated by his colleagues in Congress, he has a reputation for being a man of consensus. A congressman for the Purple Party since March, he dedicated his first words after being elected this Monday to those who died in the protests, the main fire that he has to put out.

“I want to institutionalize a space in which the young people who took to the streets in recent days are listened to, which allows them to make their points of view reach a consensus with a view to the bicentennial (of independence),” he declared to Radioprograms channel (RPP). «I am convinced and I believe that the State owes an apology not only to the young and to the citizens, for the way in which those who marched peacefully were treated, also to the courageous journalists who made us see these excesses. At the same time, he assured that an investigation will be carried out into what happened “to punish the guilty. Never again should the marches be repressed by the police, “claimed the new president, popularly known as” Don Quixote “for his great physical resemblance to the Cervantes character.

Sagastí was born in the old and historic district of Barrios Altos on October 10, 1944, in the area known as “Cinco Esquinas”, the name by which the writer Mario Vargas Llosa, titled one of his latest novels.

The son of a Peruvian father – a hero of the Pacific War – and a mother of Austrian origin, he inherited from them a love for books, which prompted him to dedicate part of his time to editing texts and also to writing them (he has more than twenty volumes, in English and Spanish, to his credit). Sagasti studied at the state University of Engineering, and later did a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, to which he added a doctorate in Operational Research and Social Sciences. In 1996, it was one of the 700 hostages of the seizure by the terrorist group MRTA of the Japanese embassy in Peru.

Before entering active politics under the banner of the centrist Purple Party, with liberal leanings and progressive ideas, Sagasti was head of Strategic Planning at the World Bank and president of the United Nations Advisory Council on Science and Technology for Development.

Honesty and commitment

Sagasti, before taking office yesterday, outlined some lines of what he wants his presidency to be: «The criteria are very clear, honesty, efficiency, commitment, ability to work as a team, the idea is to have the widest possible range. We have committed ourselves to creating a plural cabinet that can represent the diversity of citizens, in these months, “the interim president explained in Canal. will pilot the transition stage until the next elections that will take place on April 11. It will also seek gender parity: “We have not set the criteria of whether or not we are going to include a parliamentarian, we have not set rigid criteria, but we do maintain gender balance as much as possible.”

Swear in office remembering deceased protesters

In the oath of office this Tuesday and during his inauguration speech, Sagasti recalled the two deceased in the framework of the protests unleashed after the dismissal of Martín Vizcarra, while highlighting his “commitment” to the appointment. “I thank Congress and I thank the citizens for this high appointment, but this gratitude is a great commitment,” Sagasti began, emphasizing that his words serve “to remember Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado, unfortunately deceased during the last days “And asking that his” sacrifice “mark” a milestone. “

Likewise, he has made a call to maintain “calm, tranquility and equanimity”, but not to confuse these qualities with “passivity, conformism or resignation”, as the RPP station has collected.

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