Less than one week before a pivotal election in Peru, authorities released a revised count of the pandemic death toll in the South American country. It’s no secret that COVID-19 has devastated Peru, but the figures, nonetheless, were breathtaking. The government put the true number of deaths at 180,764, three times higher than earlier estimates.
Other countries will likely recalculate their earlier numbers, as well. But for now, Peru holds the painful distinction of having the world’s highest pandemic death toll by population.
Confirmation of just how catastrophic the pandemic has been for Peru helps explain the similarly disastrous political scenario voters face just days ahead of a dispiriting second-round presidential election. The ballot has presented Peruvians with a choice between two figures most of them abhor: a hardline Marxist, Pedro Castillo, and a right-wing authoritarian, Keiko Fujimori.