Peru's President-elect Alan Garcia says voters have sent a clear message to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez: keep out.
But with the Venezuelan president's ally Ollanta Humala controlling much of Peru's Congress, Chavez's anti-American brand of politics may be here to stay.
A majority of Peru's voters effectively anointed a regional rival to Chavez by returning Garcia, 57, to the presidency. Garcia himself drove home that point in his rousing victory speech when he denounced the growing influence of oil-rich Venezuela in Latin America.
"Our homeland's independent destiny was at stake here, threatened by total domination and imperialism," Garcia told supporters. "Imperialism does not come only from great powers but also from nearby domination, by those who seek to subordinate and steer us because they have wealth."
A moderate leftist who left his first term as president in disgrace 16 years ago, Garcia held an insurmountable lead of 53.1 per cent against 46.9 per cent for Humala with 93 per cent of the vote counted, Peru's national electoral authority said.
The country's financial markets rallied on Monday, with the Peruvian stock market's broad general index surging on the election news before cooling off in the afternoon to close up about 0.6 per cent.
"Garcia's victory eliminates a key link in the Andean chain that Hugo Chavez is forging," Peruvian political analyst Mirko Lauer said.
But halting a Chavezfuelled domino effect - the political mobilisation of Latin America's traditionally downtrodden - may be easier said than done.
Many Peruvians saw Humala, who once led a military uprising as an army lieutenant colonel, as unpredictable and dangerous to democracy. They were apparently wary of electing another loyal ally of Chavez, who already has extended his influence to Bolivia, where the Aymara Indian Evo Morales was elected president in December.
Humala had pledged to redistribute wealth to his country's poor Indian majority.