Óscar Luis Castañeda Lossio is the current mayor of Lima, Peru. Born in Chiclayo, his father was this city's mayor.
He was trained as a lawyer at the Catholic University of Peru, in Sweden and Mexico. In 1981, he started as a member of Popular Action party, working with many of the former mayors of Lima.
Between 1990-1996, during Fujimori's government, he was the President of the National Institute of Public Health. He had also a controversial participacion in La Caja del Pescador, an entity that works in benefit of the fishermen In 2000, he ran as a candidate of his own party National Solidarity Party, in the presidential elections, but failed to make it to the run-off elections.
In 2002, he participated in the elections for mayor with the National Unity Party, defeating the then mayor of the city Alberto Andrade.
Castañeda is one of the most popular mayors of Lima with a popularity index close to 79%, due to his developing of many public works projects at the slums of Lima, like road projects to reduce the chaotic transport of Lima, his main project is the Lima Metro, with line 1 now finished, linking the city from north to south, they are now working on line 2, which runs from Ate in the east to Callao in the coast. In February, 2005, President Alejandro Toledo, gave Lima's City Hall budget to finish line 1, to extend it to downtown Lima. His second main project is the Metropolitano, a new bus system that will link all suburbs to downtown Lima.
He decided not to run for the country's presidency, and he won re-election as the city's mayor instead in November 2006 with 48% of the vote. One of his second term main goals is to finish the 5 lines of the Lima Metro.
These works are Castañeda's accomplishments so far:
- Lima's biggest artificial lagoon.
- Historic Lima artistic illumination.
- La Cabana's Theater relaunching.
- Manchay highway.
- Remodeling of Lima's main parks and squares.
- Construction of kilometers of new parks, greenbelts and squares.
- Urban renewal surrounding the Rimac River, including housing, new parks and pedestrian bridges.
- Hospitals in pueblos jóvenes (shanty towns).
- Stairs in pueblos jóvenes.
- Repaving all Downtown Lima's sidewalks with terra cotta.
- Converting several Historic Lima streets into pedestrian promenades.
- Planting trees in Downtown Lima's main avenues.
- 8-lane Puente Piedra expressway.
- 12-lane Grau expressway
- Southern Pan-American Highway road exchange.
- Remodeling of Arenales, Canadá, Acho, Las Malvinas and Grau avenues.
- Public works at Avenida Brasil.
- Beginning the construction of Lima's Metropolitano, a modern bus system with three main terminals.
- Construction of the Largest Fountain Complex in the World in La Reserva Park. See Top Fountains of the World
- In April 2006 Castañeda announced that the Lima's Metropolitano Bus System would start operations before the ending of 2007. It has not happened. On March 2008, the Mayor provided another start date for June 2009. (El Comercio Newspaper April-04-2008)
- Between 2007 and 2008, Castañeda, in the midnight, cut down almost a hundred trees (most of them older than 40 years and 16 feet tall) in order to build roads and fountains.
- On 29 June 2008, in the midnight, Castañeda ordered to destroy the walls of the Universidad Nacional de San Marcos to build a road without permission of the university. On Monday, the asked the police to watch the students in case they protested. Police had guns
- At this day, every main road from Lima is blocked due to a terrible plan of road reparations.