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American Popular Revolutionary Alliance

The American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) is Peru's oldest and only well-institutionalized political party, it was founded by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre in Mexico City in May 1924.

The APRA program espoused an anti-imperialist, Marxist-oriented but uniquely Latin American-based solution to Peru's and Latin America's problems. APRA influenced several political movements throughout Latin America, including Bolivia's Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario, MNR) and Costa Rica's National Liberation Party (Partido Liberación Nacional, PLN).

Years of repression and clandestinity, as well as single-handed dominance of the party by Haya de la Torre, resulted in sectarian and hierarchical traits that were analogous to some communist parties. In addition, opportunistic ideological swings to the right by Haya de la Torre in the 1950s, in exchange for attaining legal status for the party, resulted in an exodus of some of APRA's most talented young leaders to the Marxist left. These shifts created cleavages between APRA and the rest of society, and were significant obstacles to democratic consensus-building during APRA's 1985-1990 tenure in government.

In May 1989, APRA chose as its standard bearer Luis Alva Castro, a long-time rival to President Alan García. APRA was as much a social phenomenon as a political movement, with a significant sector of society among its membership whose loyalty to the party and its legacy was unwavering. Despite APRA's disastrous tenure in power, in the first round of the 1990 elections it obtained 19.6 percent of the vote, more than any other of the traditional parties. The final round of the elections though was between the writer Mario Vargas Llosa and the eventual president Alberto Fujimori.