Ringing echoed throughout the city. In the space of a night, the face of Arequipa altered almost unrecognizable, as businesses, armed with plywood and sheet metal, prepared for the worst. If Keiko Fujimori won, they said there would be riots. If Pedro Castillo won, they said there would be riots. We had truly become a country divided.
As Monday morning lazily dawned, the streets were eerily quiet for a day after an election. It was almost as if we could just stay quiet, we would not wake the sleeping giant and thus perpetuate the riots. But as dawn progressed to midday, nothing happened. No winner declared. No riots. Just a seemingly endless tallying of votes. Monday progressed to Tuesday, and Tuesday to Wednesday, and still nothing. Finally, nine days after the election, a winner was declared. Pedro Castillo had won 50.125% of the vote, with Fujimori winning 49.875%.
With claims of wanting to nationalize the country’s resources, rewrite the constitution, and have “no more poor in a rich country,” Castillo’s message truly electrified the rural and poorer communities. However, Keiko Fujimori is not backing down. Just Tuesday, she held yet another rally with her supporters in Lima, stating that she will continue to oppose the results, claiming systematic fraud. As of now, electoral authorities are still examining votes, but if there is proof of such fraud, it has proven to be evasive. As the country continues to wait for July 28, 2021, the official date the new president will be sworn in, the people continue to hope. Hope that Keiko Fujimori can find her evidence. Hope that Pedro Castillo will bring the change and prosperity they crave. However, regardless of the political outcome, we know our God is in control; the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; and our call remains the same. We will continue to share the news of the greatest hope, our only true hope, Jesus Christ.