Hernando de Soto

Peruvian economist

Hernando de Soto is a Peruvian economist and the founder and president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD). Founded in 1980, ILD has been involved in designing and implementing legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by increasing access to property and business rights. In the early 1990s, de Soto and ILD drafted and promoted more than 187 laws that gave the poorest Peruvians access to economic opportunities, including title to their property and businesses, and created the national office of ombudsman to defend the constitutional and human rights of Peruvians. For his efforts, the Peruvian Marxist terror group Shining Path targeted de Soto for assassination, and ILD’s offices were bombed. De Soto has served as an economist for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as a principal of the Swiss Bank Corporation Consultant Group, and as a governor of Peru’s Central Reserve Bank. In 2021, he ran for president of Peru, placing fourth with 12% of the vote.

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