12 Jul 2009
New Prime Minister in Peru
Just saw this excellent report on Al Jazeera
As prime minister, Velasquez will face growing calls from unions, indigenous groups and the poor for the government to increase social spending.
In the cabinet shuffle, Mercedes Araoz, who as trade minister helped implement a free-trade pact with the US, was named minister of production and industry.
Martin Perez, a legislator from the conservative National Unity party, was named trade minister and Pedro Sanchez was retained as mines and energy minister.
Opposition parties had demanded cabinet changes since last month when at least 34 people died in clashes between police and indigenous groups in the Amazon rain forest.
Yehude Simon, the outgoing prime minister, was heavily criticised for botching negotiations with protesters, who wanted the government to scrap laws designed to open up their ancestral lands to foreign mining and oil companies.