Peruvian Aprista Party
Partido Aprista Peruano
PresidentCésar Trelles
General SecretariesBelén García (Institutional)
Benigno Chirinos (Political)
Political Commission ChairmanMauricio Mulder
FounderVíctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
FoundedMay 7, 1924; 100 years ago (1924-05-07) (Mexico)
September 20, 1930; 93 years ago (1930-09-20) (Peru)
HeadquartersAv. Alfonso Ugarte1012, Breña, Lima
Youth wingJuventud Aprista Peruana
Membership (2022)50,000<[1]
Political positionCurrent:
Centre-right[7][8] to right-wing[9]
Centre-left to left-wing[10][11]
Regional affiliationCOPPPAL
International affiliationSocialist International
Anthem"La Marsellesa Aprista"[12]
Seats in Congress
0 / 130
0 / 25
Regional Councillors
0 / 274
Province Mayorships
0 / 196
District Mayorships
0 / 1,874
Party flag

The Peruvian Aprista Party (Spanish: Partido Aprista Peruano, PAP) (listen) is a Peruvian political party and a member of the Socialist International. The party was founded as the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (Spanish: Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana, APRA) by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, who originally intended to create a network of anti-imperialist social and political movements in Latin America. Members are called "compañeros" (roughly "partners"), based on the fraternity espoused by Haya de la Torre. Originally a centre-left to left-wing party with democratic socialist and nationalist elements (in addition to the aforementioned anti-imperialism), the party moved closer to the political centre under the leadership of Alan García starting in the 1980s, embracing social democracy and later some Third Way policies. In 2006, the party adopted a new platform as García's second presidency implemented a series of policies labelled as centre-right, embracing free-market capitalism,[13] dialogue with other right-wing parties and organizations in the country, and closer ties with the Catholic Church and Evangelical churches.[14][15]

Founded continentally in 1924 in Mexico City, Mexico, and nationally in 1930 in Lima, it is one of the oldest political parties in Latin America. Among the Peruvian political parties in activity, specifically for having been stripped of electoral victories by coups or military governments after having triumphed democratically, it also went through two long periods of illegality, both under military and civilian governments, having been persecuted by the presidencies of Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro and Manuel A. Odría. The Peruvian Aprista Party has gained in the presidency in two occasions: in 1985 and 2006, both under the candidacy of Alan García. At parliamentary level, the party was represented uninterrupted from 1995 until 2020, falling below the electoral threshold to attain legislative representation.[16][17]

Although APRA does not operate throughout Latin America as its founder envisioned for, it has served as a powerful influence for other progressive Latin American political organizations, such as Democratic Action (AD) in Venezuela and the Socialist Party of Chile.



20th century


Original platform


APRA was founded by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre in Mexico City on 7 May 1924 with aspirations to becoming a continent-wide party, and it subsequently influenced a number of other Latin American political movements, including Bolivia's Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario, MNR), Dominican Republic's Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, PRD) and Costa Rica's National Liberation Party (Partido Liberación Nacional, PLN). The party was inspired by Haya de la Torre's observations of fascist and communist parties during his time in Europe.[18]

Initials supporters for APRA in the 1920s mainly included middle-class and wealthy Peruvians who were upset with the sugar industry's modernization.[19] It is the oldest surviving political party in Peru and is as much a social phenomenon as a political movement, with a membership whose loyalty to the party has been unwavering for several generations. APRA initially espoused anti-imperialism, Pan-Americanism, international solidarity and economic nationalism. Years of repression and clandestinity, as well as Haya de la Torre's single-handed dominance of the party, resulted in striking sectarian and hierarchical traits.[20] The party's structure and its hold over its rank and file proved more lasting than its original ideological platform.

In the 1930s, the party was banned after being inaccurately labeled as communist; Italy and the United States supported the ban as they believed APRA served as a front group for bolshevism.[21] The conflict between APRA and the government of fascist president Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro led to civil war-like conditions.[21] On 2 July 1932, APRA militants massacred sixty soldiers in Trujillo, which resulted in a violent response from President Sánchez Cerro that resulted with about 1,500 Apristas killed and the arrest of Haya de la Torre.[21] Abelardo Mendoza Leyva, an Aprista, later assassinated President Sánchez Cerro on 30 April 1933.[21]

Move to the right


In 1944, APRA formed the National Democratic Front political coalition beside the far-right Reformist Democratic Party and the fascist Revolutionary Union party, excluding the Peruvian Communist Party.[22] The alliance led to the triumph of ultraconservative José Luis Bustamante y Rivero becoming president the same year.[22] By the 1950s, APRA would become a right-wing party according to PBS, leaving many of its left-wing supporters disillusioned.[23]

After several years of military rule, APRA was allowed to participate as a legal political party in 1979. The party gathered strong support from the electorate, managing to win a majority of seats in the newly created Constituent Assembly, and supervised the first democratic elections in 12 years.

Haya de la Torre was elected president of the Constituent Assembly and was slated to run as the party's presidential candidate in 1980. However, he died before the election. The party was divided between Armando Villanueva and Andres Townsend, each of them claiming to be the political and ideological heir of Haya de la Torre. APRA chose Villanueva as its candidate, while Townsend and other members left the party to create the Hayist Bases Movement. The split among the Apristas allowed former president Fernando Belaúnde Terry of Acción Popular to win the election.

Garcia presidency


However, APRA managed to win in virtual control of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It was also during these election that Alan García started his political career, after being elected Deputy for the Province of Lima.

The youthful and charismatic García was elected president on 14 April 1985, with 45% of the vote during the first round. Since he did not receive the 50% of the vote required to win the presidency, García was required to enter the second round against Alfonso Barrantes Lingán (the leftist mayor of Lima) of the Izquierda Unida Coalition. Barrantes, however, decided not to enter the second round of the elections, saying he did not want to prolong the political uncertainty of the country.

García was thus declared president on 1 June and officially took power on 28 July 1985. It was the first time in its sixty-year history that the populist APRA party had come to power in Peru.

His presidency was marked by world-record hyperinflation with the annual rate exceeding 13,000 percent per year. García's administration devastated the local economy as well as all governmental institutions. Hunger, corruption, injustice, abuse of power, elitism, and social unrest raised to dramatic levels spreading throughout the whole nation, spurring terrorism.

At García's farewell speech, he was booed by the entire opposition forces and prevented from speaking. The anecdotal event was televised. That same day the board of the Chamber of Deputies requested the creation of a special committee to investigate García's presidency, accusing him of massive corruption and illicit enrichment. The committee attacked García with numerous proven accusations involving embezzlement, misappropriation and bribery, based -among other trustworthy sources- on a U.S. congressional investigation that linked García with the BCCI scandal and had found millions of dollars in banks. New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau charged García officially. Later in 1992, then Senator John Kerry presided over the BCCI Scandal Report, (The BCCI Affair) which concluded that García was not only guilty of corruption, but also directly involved in an international racketeering network with activities that included drug and arms trafficking. Finally, the Peruvian Supreme Court, overturned prior judicial verdicts and declared all the probes and constitutional accusations against García "null".

In May 1989, APRA chose as its standard bearer Luis Alva Castro for the 1990 general election. For the final runoff, APRA sealed a hidden deal with Cambio 90 and Alberto Fujimori, to prevent the leading candidate Mario Vargas Llosa, today a Nobel laureate and renown novelist and political analyst, from getting elected. Fujimori, a complete unknown, was subsequently elected.

Fujimori presidency


As Fujimori assumed the presidency in 1990, Congress was dominated by the opposition forces of Mario Vargas Llosa's Democratic Front. Fujimori's party had gained only 32 deputies out of 180, and 14 senators out of 60. The majority was divided between APRA (22%) and the Democratic Front, with about 32% of Congress. In 1992, Fujimori organized a successful coup d'état. This allowed García to flee Peru and request asylum denouncing political persecution, the asylum was granted by Colombian president César Gaviria. Shortly after, under the protection of president Francois Mitterrand, García received again the privilege of political refuge and left Colombia to reside in Paris.

Fujimori convened elections for a Democratic Constituent Congress, in which APRA did not participate. In the 1995 general elections, the APRA nominee for president was Mercedes Cabanillas, gaining only 4%, behind former United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (21%) and the reelected Fujimori (64%). The party only got 8 congressman out of 120, while Fujimori's Cambio 90-New Majority dominated Congress with 67.

21st century


In 2000, Abel Salinas was elected as the presidential nominee, being the worst general election for APRA, gaining only 1% of the popular vote. Only 6 APRA congressman were elected. As many assume the election was a fraud, Fujimori resigned after the corruption of his government was revealed by the opposition.

At the legislative elections, the party won 19.7% of the popular vote and 28 out of 120 seats in Congress. Its presidential candidate at the elections of the same day, Alan García Pérez, won 25.8% of the vote, placing second and was defeated in the second round by Alejandro Toledo.

In February 2005, García officially commenced his campaign for the 2006 presidential election. He came in second place by a slim margin over Lourdes Flores, and faced Ollanta Humala in a run-off election on 4 June. He became president again as Humala conceded after exit polls and partial vote counts showed García leading. Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera. He officially took office on 28 July 2006.

On the eve of leaving the government, García called a general election for 10 April 2011. APRA ran as a guest presidential candidate for former minister Mercedes Aráoz, but her candidacy was frustrated by numerous internal conflicts with other party leaders. In this way, the party participated in the elections without a candidate, obtaining 4 seats in Congress. It has remained an organized opposition party against the Ollanta Humala administration. For the 2016 elections, APRA signed an alliance with the Partido Popular Cristiano and Vamos Perú, under the title of "Alianza Popular (Popular Alliance)", with Alan García as the presidential candidate, who will serve a third term and long-time rival Lourdes Flores as Garcia's first running mate.[24] According to Javier Barreda, this alliance did not benefit these three parties at all. On 13 May 2016, a political alliance between APRA and Keiko Fujimori is seen.[25][26]

In the elections of said year, Alan García lost resoundingly, remaining in fifth place with 6.19%. Hours later, the candidate resigned from the APRA presidency calling for an "internal restructuring of the party." On Monday, 3 October 2016, Enrique Cornejo asks that they not think of putting obstacles that hinder votes, where he said do not think of cheating on the part of your "companions".

On 17 April 2019, former President Alan García died at the Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in Miraflores after shooting himself in the head after a preliminary search and arrest warrant against him due to the Odebrecht corruption scandal.[27]

In the extraordinary congressional elections of 2020, held after the dissolution of Congress in 2019, the APRA had its worst electoral result of 2.7%, failing to pass the 5% electoral threshold, which means that it would not have parliamentary representation after 25 uninterrupted years.[16][17] However, it managed to maintain the registration as a political party since it was an extraordinary electoral process.[28][29]

In 2020, the party chose former Minister Nidia Vílchez as its presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections. However, and because the Special Electoral Jury (JEE) declared the party's congressional list inadmissible, they decided to withdraw Vílchez's candidacy for the presidency.[30] Because the party did not participate in the general elections, the party could lose its registration as a political party.[31][32][33]

International alignment


APRA is a member of the Socialist International.

The youth organization of APRA is known as Juventud Aprista Peruana.

Hilda Gadea – the first female Secretary of the Economy of the Executive National Committee for APRA; later married Che Guevara and wrote a memoir.[34]

Current structure and composition


National Executive Committee


The National Executive Committee of the Peruvian Aprista Party is the implementing body of organic action and mobilization of the party. It is the responsibility of the National Executive Committee to give the unit of total action committees and party cadres, efficiently support the development of decentralized activities and delegate decision-making authority to the Base Committees throughout the Republic, with knowledge of the national political leadership.

The establishment, functions, powers of each National Institute and Regional Institute delegates and general coordinators, are set out in the General Rules of Organization on the basis of which produces the respective functions manual, which must be approved by the National Political Commission. It is led by two general secretaries, which are elected by a National Convention.

The current National Executive Committee is led by Belén García Mendoza, former congressional nominee from Ica, and Benigno Chirinos, former Senator and current Chairman of the Workers Confederation, a trade union affiliated to the party. As Institutional and Political General Secretaries, respectively, they were elected at the XXV National Convention, held from 25 to 27 October 2019.

Current leadership


Office of the President of the Party


The Office of the President of the Party was established on 15 July 1985, in honor of Alan García's triumph in being the first member of the party to be elected President of Peru. According to the party statute, it is the highest rank in the party, exercising executive functions, and presiding all permanent organ meetings. Chosen by the National Convention, the presidency is widely perceived as honorific position created exclusively for García. Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre holds the eternal position of "Chief", according to Aprista lore, but never took an executive role as embodied by García.

The current President of the Party is César Trelles Lara, the former Governor of Piura, elected and ratified as such pursuant to the law of Political Parties, by the XXV National Convention, held from 25 to 27 October 2019.

National Political Commission


The National Political Commission is the highest ranking organ on party policy, after the convention. It is in charge of defining and expressing the party's position on transcendental aspects of the country, conducting party thought and action, within the framework of its ideological and programmatic conception. It establishes the political line, agrees and guides the organization, party action and the development of the objectives and goals of the National Executive Committee and the Autonomous Bodies.

According to the party's statute, the commission is formed by eleven members. Five members are elected by the National Convention, while are four appointed by the president of the party, and the two general secretaries.

The current National Political Commission is chaired by Mauricio Mulder, former Congressman from Lima and former party Secretary General. Mulder was first elected at the XXIV National Convention "Armando Villanueva", held at the party headquarters in Breña, Lima, from 7 to 9 July 2017, and was reelected by the XXV National Convention "Alan García", held from 25 to 27 October 2019.

Current leadership


Election results


Presidential elections

Election Nominee First round Second round Result
Votes % Votes %
1931 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre 106,088 35.38 Lost Red XN
1945 José Bustamante y Rivero (as part of National Democratic Front) 305,590 66.97 Elected Green tickY
1962 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre 557,007 32.97 Annulled Red XN
1963 623,501 34.36 Lost Red XN
1980 Armando Villanueva 1,087,188 27.40 Lost Red XN
1985 Alan García 3,452,111 53.11 Elected Green tickY
1990 Luis Alva Castro 1,494,231 22.64 Lost Red XN
1995 Mercedes Cabanillas 297,327 4.11 Lost Red XN
2000 Abel Salinas 153,319 1.38 Lost Red XN
2001 Alan García 2,732,857 25.78 4,904,929 46.92 Lost Red XN
2006 2,985,858 24.32 6,965,017 52.63 Elected Green tickY
2011 Mercedes Aráoz Nomination withdrawn N/A N/A
2016 Alan García
(as part of Popular Alliance)
894,278 5.83 Lost Red XN
2021 Nidia Vílchez Nomination withdrawn N/A N/A

Elections to the Congress of the Republic

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1995 Agustín Mantilla 274,263 6.4%
8 / 120
Steady Minority
2000 Jorge del Castillo 546,930 5.5%
6 / 120
Decrease 2 Minority
2001 Alan García 1,857,416 19.7%
28 / 120
Increase 22 Minority
2006 2,213,562 20.6%
36 / 120
Increase 8 Minority
2011 825,030 6.4%
4 / 130
Decrease 32 Minority
2016 1,013,735 8.3%

as part of Popular Alliance

5 / 130
Increase 1 Minority
2020 César Trelles 402,330 2.7%
0 / 130
Decrease 5 Extra-parliamentary

Elections to the Senate

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1945 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre

in coalition with FDN

35 / 49
Increase 35 Majority
1962 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre

in coalition with MDP

25 / 55
Decrease 10 Minority
1963 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
18 / 45
Increase 18 Minority
1980 Armando Villanueva 1,144,203 27.6%
18 / 60
Steady Minority
1985 Alan García 3,099,975 51.3%

in coalition with DC-SODE

32 / 60
Increase 14 Majority
1990 1,390,954 25.1%
16 / 60
Decrease 16 Minority

Elections to the Chamber of Deputies

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1945 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre

in coalition with FDN

73 / 186
Increase 73 Minority
1962 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre

in coalition with MDP

85 / 186
Increase 12 Minority
1963 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
56 / 139
Decrease 29 Minority
1980 Armando Villanueva 962,801 26.5%
58 / 180
Increase 2 Minority
1985 Alan García 2,920,605 50.1%

in coalition with DC-SODE

107 / 180
Increase 49 Majority
1990 1,240,395 25.0%
53 / 180
Decrease 54 Minority

Elections to the Constituent Congresses and Assemblies

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1931 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
27 / 145
Increase 27 Minority
1978 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre 1,241,174 35.3%
37 / 100
Increase 10 Minority
1992 Agustín Mantilla Boycotted
0 / 80
Decrease 37 Extra-parliamentary


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