Peru President Humala's Approval Rating Falls to 53%, Poll Says

By John Quigley

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala's approval rating fell from a three-month high on concern he may have condoned favorable treatment for his brother, who's imprisoned for killing four policemen, according to a new poll.

The rating dropped to 53 percent, from 59 percent last month, newspaper El Comercio reported, citing a poll by Ipsos Apoyo.

Antauro Humala, who's serving a 19-year prison sentence, was moved to a military lock-up from a maximum security facility March 4. Justice Minister Juan Jimenez told legislators last week the transfer was for safety reasons, and said press reports that the former army major had obtained an iPhone and Internet access in the penitentiary will be investigated.

According to the survey, 59 percent thought the transfer was designed to give Humala better living conditions and 77 percent disapproved of the move. The Lima-based researcher questioned 1,204 people from March 14 to March 16. The poll, commissioned by El Comercio, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Antauro Humala was jailed in September 2009 for the slayings during the 2005 takeover of a police station in the southern Andean town of Andahuaylas. He had led a group of army reservists who opposed foreign investment and sought to re- nationalize state industries.

Lima-based America Television on March 11 published e-mails it said Antauro Humala had received from people seeking his help in gaining government jobs. It also published an e-mail it said he'd sent to a member of staff in Congress.

At least 69 percent of those surveyed said Antauro Humala holds sway over the president, the army, prison officials and some government entities, the poll shows.

President Humala had a 55 percent approval rating in a March 9-12 poll by Datum Internacional, which surveyed 1,206 people.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at