Ollanta Humala, a career army officer, won the June 2011 presidential election after promising to respect democracy and spread the benefits of a decade-long economic boom to the poor.
He narrowly beat Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.
As Mr Humala emerged as victor in the polls, financial markets plunged on fears that he would ruin the economy.
Mr Humala, 48 at the time of his election, burst onto the political scene in 2000 when he led a short-lived bloodless revolt to demand that former President Fujimori resign after 10 years in power. In the 1990s, he fought in the jungle against Shining Path guerrillas.
He comes from a family of prominent radicals. His brother, Antauro Humala, led a failed uprising in 2005 against former President Alejandro Toledo's government and was jailed for the violent protest that killed four police officers.
His father, Isaac Humala, is a central figure in an ethnic movement that seeks to reclaim Peru's Incan glory by spurning foreign interests.
In 2006, Humala narrowly lost the presidential election to Alan Garcia. He campaigned in a red polo shirt and called for a dramatic transformation in the style of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's declared "socialist revolution".
Since then he has recast himself as a family man. He has softened his radical image and disavowed his affinity for Mr Chavez.
He promises Peru's poor a greater share of the country's considerable mineral wealth and pledged to honour the free market but put Peruvians first.
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"Peru Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Peru/Government
"Peru Government Stats, NationMaster." 1821-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Peru/Government>.
'Peru Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Peru/Government> [assessed 1821-2014]
"Peru Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1821-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Peru/Government>.
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"Peru Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Peru/Government (assessed 1821-2014)
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"Peru Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Peru/Government (as of 1821-2014)