Political parties are critical to Latin American democracy. This was demonstrated in Peru, where an atomized, candidate–centered party system developed after Alberto Fujimori?s 1992 presidential self–coup. Party system decomposition weakened the democratic opposition against an increasingly authoritarian regime. Since the regime collapsed in 2000, prospects for party rebuilding have been mixed. Structural changes, such as the growth of the informal sector and the spread of mass media technologies, have weakened politicians? incentive to build parties. Although these changes did not cause the collapse of the party system, they may inhibit its reconstruction.