In June 2006 Alan Garcia, candidate of the Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) was elected president once again. After a really disastrous presidential term from 1985 to 1990, Garcia made clear to have learned from his past mistakes and returned to the presidency with many promises to improve Peru's social conditions.
Garcia sought to balance economic stability with increased social spending, promised to decrease poverty, especially in Peru's southern highlands where poverty is most acute and lead an accountable and transparent government.
While many in Peru and abroad had strong doubts at the beginning of Garcia's presidency, they were surprised later. Garcia managed to embrace free markets and free trade, making Peru one of Latin America's top destinations for foreign investment. Under his presidency, foreign investment increased, the economic status of the country improved, public debt dropped and foreign reserves went up. In December 2008, Alan Garcia was named Leader of the Year by the Latin American Business Chronicle for his achievements.
Even though the poverty rate dropped from 48% at the beginning of his administration to around 30% and many governmental social projects were implemented, it still seemed that the economic success of the country didn't reach all in Peru. His opponents as well criticized Garcia for an increase in social conflicts, which mainly arose due to the control that foreign companies hold over Peru's wealth of natural resources, and the growth of drug trafficking.
Overall, Garcia's second term in office enhanced the economic and social status of the country. Whatever critics say Alan Garcia managed and improved the country during a worldwide tumultuous financial and economic time quite well; and he did a much better job than during his first presidency.