Gustavo Gorriti at PostGlobal

Gustavo Gorriti

Lima, Peru

Gustavo Gorriti Is and award-winning Peruvian journalist based in Lima. He covered Peru's internal war, drug trafficking and corruption. He is the author, among other books, of The Shining Path: A History of the Millenarian War in Peru. He was Associate Director of Panama's La Prensa, Co-Director of Peru's La Republica and is currently a columnist for Caretas, Peru's leading newsmagazine. Close.

Gustavo Gorriti

Lima, Peru

Gustavo Gorriti Is and award-winning Peruvian journalist based in Lima. He covered Peru's internal war, drug trafficking and corruption. more »

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For Peruvians, U.S. Means Money

In Peru, somebody has already done Amar’s homework for him. A nationwide poll published May 20th in El Comercio, Peru’s newspaper of record, had some revealing answers:

When asked to name the country in the world they admire the most, 27% of Peruvians chose the United States as the object of their affection. Japan was a distant second, with 13%. Spain (10%) and Italy (5%) were next. Brazil was the preferred Latin American country, with 5%, and 4% of Peruvians chose Cuba.

Why do Peruvians seem to be so pro-American? Migration and economics. 40% of Peruvians thought that Peru should strengthen its “economic relations” with the United States. Brazil came next with just 19%. Asked to which country they would like to emigrate, 28% chose the U.S. Spain came close with 27% and Italy a distant third with 10%.

Would Peruvians emigrate if they had the chance? 70% said yes, they would. They not only like the U.S. but would like, with your permission, to live there. Many have already joined the ranks of the Peruvian diaspora, about half a million people, often immigrating illegally to form part of the roughly 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S.

Legal or not, the hard-working migrants send remittances of more that $2.5 billion a year to Peru. That money makes a real difference in the lives of many Peruvians receiving it. It is both a source of hope and a means of improvement regularly wired from the U.S. to their distant home. So, when the pollsters come knocking at the door, those who have just visited the Western Union office probably don’t have to think long about their answers.

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