PERU: Poor Man's Conservative

"I am the most hated man in Peru," says Premier Pedro Beltrán, 63, and perhaps he is right. In an Andean country where the bulk of the people are impoverished Indians, Beltrán is a rich capitalist, a conquistador-descended aristocrat.

He is also a conservative newspaper publisher, a budget balancer, and the most orthodox of economists; his idol is West Germany's Ludwig Erhard. Yet he is running, in economic policy at least, a government whose dominant political base is a mass leftist party called APRA. Their dislike is mutual.

Beltrán got his job through a strange chain of circumstances that began with...

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