Students’ struggles pushed Peru teacher to run for president

CHUGUR, Peru (AP) — As schools across Peru closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pedro Castillo tried to find a way to keep classes going for his 20 fifth- and sixth-grade students. But in his impoverished community deep in the Andes, his efforts were futile. Seventeen of the students didn’t even have access to a cellphone. Tablets promised by the government never arrived. It was the last straw for Castillo, who tossed his name into a crowd of 18 candidates in Peru’s presidential election. Defying the polls, the rural elementary school teacher came first in the April 11 voting and will face Keiko Fujimori in a June runoff.