Mercedes Aráoz

Last updated

Mercedes Aráoz
Mercedes Araoz.jpg
Second Vice President of Peru
In office
28 July 2016 7 May 2020
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
Martín Vizcarra
Preceded byVacant (Last held by Omar Chehade in 2012)
Succeeded byVacant
Prime Minister of Peru
In office
17 September 2017 2 April 2018
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
Martín Vizcarra
Preceded by Fernando Zavala
Succeeded by César Villanueva
Member of Congress
In office
26 July 2016 30 September 2019
Constituency Lima
Minister of Economy and Finance
In office
22 December 2009 14 September 2010
President Alan García
Prime Minister Javier Velásquez
Preceded by Luis Carranza
Succeeded by Ismael Benavides
Minister of Production
In office
11 July 2009 22 December 2009
President Alan García
Prime Minister Javier Velásquez
Preceded by Elena Conterno
Succeeded byJosé Gonzales Quijano
Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism
In office
28 July 2006 11 July 2009
President Alan García
Prime Minister Jorge Del Castillo
Yehude Simon
Preceded by Alfredo Ferrero
Succeeded by Martín Pérez
Personal details
Born (1961-08-05) 5 August 1961 (age 60)
Lima, Peru
Political party Independent
Peruvian Aprista Party (before 2012)
Education University of the Pacific (BA)
University of Miami (MA, PhD)
Occupation Politician
Profession Economist

Mercedes Rosalba Aráoz Fernández (born 5 August 1961) is a Peruvian economist, professor, and politician who served as Second Vice President of Peru from 2016 to 2020. At the beginning of her political career, she served as Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism from 2006 [1] to July 2009, [2] after which she was appointed briefly as Minister of Production, and finally as Minister of Economy and Finance, all portfolios under the second presidency of Alan García. [3]


At the 2016 general election, Aráoz ran for the Second Vice Presidency along Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Martin Vizcarra in the Peruvians for Change ticket, being ultimately elected in a tight run-off against Keiko Fujimori's Popular Force ticket. Simultaneously, she was elected to Congress for the 2016–2021 term. In the Kuczynski administration, she was appointed Prime Minister, serving from 17 September 2017 to 2 April 2018. Kuczynski resigned on 23 March 2018, following a corruption scandal, thus making Martín Vizcarra the new President of Peru; Araóz subsequently acted as the only Vice President in the Vizcarra administration.

On 30 September 2019, a dispute between Vizcarra and the Congress of the Republic resulted in the dissolution of the Congress by the President, which in turn suspended Vizcarra and named Aráoz as Acting President. [4] [5] However, the suspension of Vizcarra was generally not recognized, [6] forcing Aráoz to decline the claim to the presidency on 1 October 2019. [7] Her resignation was accepted by Congress on 7 May 2020, leaving both Vice Presidencies vacant. [8]

Early life and education

Aráoz was born in Lima. She attended to St. Mary's School in Magdalena del Mar, Lima. She studied Economics at the University of the Pacific in Lima. Later she obtained a Master in Economics and completed her PhD in Economics at the University of Miami. [9] [10] Aráoz is of Argentine and French descent.

Aráoz completed specialization courses in Foreign Trade Policies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University and at the Latin American Network of Commercial Policy in Buenos Aires. She also studied Coaching at Newfield Network, Santiago de Chile.

Academic career

She is Principal Professor of International Economy at the University of the Pacific and member of the Research Center. She is also professor at the Diplomatic Academy of Peru.

She has worked as a consultant with a variety of international organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the CAF – Development Bank of Latin America. [11]

Aráoz served as Country Representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) in Mexico City from 2011 until 2015.

Alan García administration (2006–2010)

Foreign Trade and Tourism (2006–2009)

On 28 July 2006, Aráoz was named as Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism. During her tenure, she fostered free trade negotiations with the European Union, EFTA, China, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Japan, among others.

Production (2009)

On 11 July 2009, Aráoz was named as Minister of Production after leaving the Foreign Trade and Tourism portfolio.

Economy and Finance (2009–2010)

In December 2009, Aráoz was named as Minister of Economy and Finance. [3] She was the first woman in Peruvian history to hold this office.

During her 9 months of managing the Ministry, priority was given to the promotion of infrastructure and public services investment projects; likewise, the concessions of construction projects at national level were reviewed. During her term, the government maintained the growth of the Peruvian economy despite the global financial crisis.

2011 Peruvian Aprista Party presidential nomination

In November 2010, congressman Mauricio Mulder proposed Aráoz for the party's presidential nomination for the 2011 general election. [12] In spite of her resignation as Finance Minister, she was propelled by the government to run for the nomination. [13] She won the majority in at the party's national convention, and accepted the nomination on 28 November 2010. [14] Despite criticism for selecting an independent pro-market liberal as the social democrat party's nominee, her run was viewed by analysts as an intent of propelling the party for future Alan García run in 2016, despite low chances of victory in 2011. As running mates, the party selected former prime minister and congressman Javier Velásquez (1st) and former cabinet minister and congresswoman Nidia Vílchez (2nd).

Throughout the internal process, however, Aráoz held many disagreements with high-ranking party leaders, such as former prime minister Jorge Del Castillo, who was ultimately selected as the head of the congressional list for the Lima constituency. Aráoz heavily criticized the decision of including among the congressional candidates Del Castillo, based on the corruption allegations imputed against him. This event would finally lead to her nomination withdrawal on 16 January 2011. The party would not field any candidate for the election, and Aráoz would retire momentarily from politics. [15]

Congresswoman and Vice president

In the 2016 general election, Aráoz ran with the Peruvians for Change party as candidate both for Congress and for Second Vice President as running mate of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. She remains an independent within the Party. The ticket was successful and Aráoz was elected Second Vice President [16]

Vice presidency

In August 2016, Aráoz was appointed as chair of the APEC Peru 2016 High-Level Commission. The commission was made to determine necessary guidelines, strategies and measures to guarantee Peru's success as host of the meeting. [17]

In August 2017, Aráoz was named as Commissioner for Peru-OECD adherence process.

Prime Minister of Peru

In September 2017, Aráoz was sworn in as President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister). [18] She held the office until April 2018.

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  1. "Afirma ministra de Comercio Exterior, Mercedes Aráoz: Correa puede poner en riesgo negociación entre la CAN-UE" (in Spanish). EFE news agency. 28 November 2006.
  2. Quigley, John (22 December 2009). "Peru's Araoz Named Finance Minister as Carranza Quits". Bloomberg.
  3. 1 2 "Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas - Histórico - Relación de Ministros".
  4. "Peru's President Dissolves Congress, and Lawmakers Suspend Him". The New York Times . 30 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  5. "Peru's president dissolves Congress to push through anti-corruption reforms". The Guardian . 1 October 2019. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. "Peru's Vizcarra scraps Congress as opposition picks new president". Al Jazeera . 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  7. "Peru's VP resigns post and role as 'interim president,' calls for new general elections". Reuters . 1 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  8. PERÚ, NOTICIAS EL COMERCIO (8 May 2020). "Mercedes Araoz: Congreso aprueba la renuncia a la vicepresidencia de la República | Martín Vizcarra || POLITICA". El Comercio Perú.
  9. "Perú.- Alan García designa a Mercedes Aráoz como la primera mujer al frente del Ministerio de Economía" (in Spanish). Finanzas. 22 December 2009.
  10. "Universidad del Pacífico". Archived from the original on 4 May 2010.
  11. "Mercedes Aráoz Fernández". AS/COA.
  12. "Perú: APRA propone a ex ministra Mercedes Aráoz como candidata presidencial".
  13. LR, Redacción (2 November 2010). "Mercedes Aráoz es presentada como candidata presidencial del Apra".
  14. PERÚ, Empresa Peruana de Servicios Editoriales S. A. EDITORA. "APRA proclama como candidata presidencial a Mercedes Aráoz".
  15. "Renuncia la candidata presidencial oficialista de Perú, Mercedes Aráoz".
  16. "INFOgob - Observatorio para la Gobernabilidad". INFOgob. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  17. PERÚ, Empresa Peruana de Servicios Editoriales S. A. EDITORA. "Peru Gov't creates APEC Extraordinary High-Level Commission".
  18. "Economist Mercedes Araoz sworn in as Peru's new prime minister".
Political offices
Preceded by
Luis Carranza
Minister of Economy and Finance
Succeeded by
Ismael Benavides Ferreyros
Title last held by
Omar Chehade
Second Vice President of Peru
Preceded by
Fernando Zavala
Prime Minister of Peru
Succeeded by
César Villanueva