When the prime minister, Ana Jara, called for dialogue with the opposition last week it looked like a bid to buy time. Previous prime ministers under President Humala have done exactly the same in the face of an adverse polit- ical scenario and it has amounted to very little in practice, except granting some respite to the government. On a visit to the Andean region of Huancavelica shortly beforehand, Humala said his government would “overcome the political noise ... which is in Lima ... and listen to the needs of the people for water, drainage, roads, hospitals and education.”

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