An ethnic Korean has been elected a mayor in Peru, a first in the 106-year history of Korean immigration to Latin America.
The South Korean Embassy in Peru said Thursday that Jung Heung-won, 64, was sworn in as the mayor of Chanchamayo in central Peru, about 300 kilometers east of Lima, on Jan. 2. The term is four years.
Jung Heung-won (sitting), newly elected mayor of Chanchamayo in Peru, poses with city councilors in his office. (Yonhap News)
Jung received 34.8 percent of the votes as a candidate of Peruvian Fuerza 2011 in a mayoral election in October, and defeated the incumbent mayor by a large margin.
Jung went to Argentina in 1986, moved to Lima in 1996, and then to Chanchamayo 10 years ago. In Peru, a foreigner granted residence may run for public office except as the president, a cabinet minister or a lawmaker if he or she resides in an election district for two years or longer.
The 64-year-old Korean-Peruvian has been in the restaurant and bottled water businesses and won the hearts of the local residents by helping those in need, particularly ill and malnourished children.
Chanchamayo, home to 176,000 people, is well-known for coffee farming and silver, copper and zinc.