Peru -- by the will of the people

"From this moment on, constitutionality, human rights, and freedom of the press are restored in Peru by the will of the people." Fernando Belaunde Terry had to wait a dozen years to proclaim these words this week. But there was hope that he could follow through on them, having been returned by free elections to the presidency from which he had been ousted by a military coup in 1968. For this some credit must go to Gen. Francisco Morales Bermudez, who overthrew the original military junta in 1975 and paved the way for a comeback of civilian government.

The new/old President's challenges should not be minimized as he seeks to fulfill his chief campaign promises of creating a million new jobs during his first two years and stepping up domestic food production. He faces a legacy of increases in population, unemployment, rural poverty, and disruptive migration to the cities. But Peru's return to democracy provides a basis for going toward in partnership with the people and an encouragement to other Latin American countries that positive political change can come. International banks and other agencies ought to support the process by helping a free Peru helf itself to stay free.

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