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El Comercio, June 6, 2016

"Vote by vote" reads the front page of Peruvian daily El Comercio Monday, as ballots are still being counted after Sunday's presidential election, the second-round vote being too close to call last night.

The front page features a painting of the two main candidates, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from the center-right party Peruvians for Change and Keiko Fujimori, from the conservative Popular Force, who are neck and neck in what some are calling Peru's tightest presidential election in the last three decades.

According to the latest estimates, Kuczynski has taken a slight lead with 50,52% of the votes, while Fujimori is right behind with 49,48%, with 88% of votes counted.

Kuczynski, a former Wall Street investor, has pledged to spur employment and promote economic growth, while Fujimori — the daughter of Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori, now in jail for crimes against humanity — has vowed to tackle crime.

Although a favorite in the election, Fujimori has recently faced corruption scandals in her party that may have damaged her popularity.

The successor to leftist President Ollanta Humala will be known later this Monday as votes from the country's rural areas are being counted.

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Geopolitics

Taliban Redux, Cleaned-Up Image Can't Mask Their Cruel Reality

Twenty years later the Islamist group is back in power in Afghanistan, but trying this time to win international support. Now that several months have passed, experts on the ground can offer a clear assessment if the group has genuinely transformed on such issues as women's rights and free speech.

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The international community is closely monitoring the Taliban, after the group re-seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

There is legitimate reason for concern. The Taliban are again ruling through fear and draconian rules.

The Taliban’s last regime, in the mid-1990s, was marked by human rights violations, including massacres, mass detentions and rape. The regime collapsed on Nov. 14, 2001, shortly after the U.S. launched its global war on terrorism.

Even after the Taliban officially fell from power, their subsequent two decades of insurgency produced various gross human rights violations, an encompassing term under international human rights law.

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