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Topic: Peru (Read 31994 times)
June 06, 2006, 11:45:49 PM »
Como ya saben muchos de Uds, mi madre vive en el sur de Peru; por eso tengo interes en la situacion en Peru.
Como es frecuentemente el caso, muchos de mis fuentes de noticias estan en ingles. Lamento el hecho que sean en ingles, pero busco la verdad donde sea.
La Aventura continua,
Alan's back - but different?
June 5, 2006 03:55 PM
The election of Alan Garc?a as the next president of Peru bucks a trend in some other Andean countries towards more interventionist, less liberal economic policies. Whereas in neighbouring Bolivia and Ecuador, governments have recently opted to overturn contracts with key foreign investors, Garc?a promises to pursue policies that acknowledge the need for outside investment in developing his country's economy.
The victory of Garc?a over Ollanta Humala, the left-wing nationalist candidate in the June 4 second round of presidential elections, also represents a reverse for Venezuelan president Hugo Ch?vez, who had urged Peruvians to vote for Humala, not Garc?a. Garc?a was able to exploit Ch?vez's overly strident support for Humala as a flagrant case of interference in Peru's domestic affairs. Garc?a's hostility to Ch?vez has earned him friends in Washington.
During the campaign for the second round, Garc?a made clear his espousal of what he called "responsible" economic policies, clearly not those of Bolivia's President Evo Morales who on May 1 announced his intention to nationalise his country's largely foreign-owned hydrocarbons industry. Garc?a, by contrast, emphasized the need for policies to attract foreign investment, not repel it. He also made clear that he supported the Free Trade Agreement negotiated by outgoing President Alejandro Toledo. Both Ch?vez and Morales - as well as Humala - have bitterly criticised Toledo for agreeing to a trade deal that risks wrecking the Andean Community (CAN).
Garc?a's preference for liberal economics also contrasts strongly with his own policies when president for the first time (1985-90). On that occasion he espoused heterodox formulae that challenged directly the orthodoxy of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also threatened to limit debt servicing to 10% of the value of annual exports.
However, the economic denouement of his first government - Peru ended up with hyperinflation and an unprecedented recession - has hung like an albatross around his neck ever since. Criticism was particularly bitter from the local business community, which castigated what it saw as his corrupt and inept government. The Fujimori government which followed in 1990 managed to stabilise the economy, accepting the policies of market liberalisation advocated by the international financial community.
In staging his political come-back, Garc?a had little option to express repentance for past mistakes. But his shift towards orthodox economics also is a consequence of the political situation he finds himself in. In order to win the second round, he needed the support of those who voted for the centre-right Unidad Nacional (UN) in the first round. In particular, he had to win overwhelmingly in Lima, UN's main stronghold, where he came a poor third in the first round.
When he becomes president again on July 28, Garc?a will have to appeal to different interests. He will need the support of the business community, but also to the support of poorer Peruvians, most of whom voted for Humala. His economic policies are therefore likely to include measures designed to make "trickle down" trickle further. More emphasis will be placed on the need to deal with chronic problems of health and education. Other key issues in the election campaign have been the need for employment and for policies to deal with crime in the country's urban areas.
Although the economic climate is benign - growth this year will probably exceed 6% - Garcia may well run into political difficulties. His party has only a minority (36 seats) in the 120-member legislature. The biggest party is Humala's Union por el Per? (UPP) with 45 seats. This may make for awkward coalition formation, possibly accepting unwelcome terms from UN.
Or it could mean doing a deal with those in Congress who support Fujimori. The price for their support is clear: lifting the extradition charges which Peru's former president, currently in Chile, has hanging over him. Since it was Fujimori who, in 1992, forced Garc?a into a 12-year period of exile, this may be seen as a price too high to pay.
Protestas contra Hugo Chavez
Reply #1 on:
June 16, 2006, 09:11:36 PM »
Demostraci?n anti Chavez frente a la embajada venezolana en Lima, Per?.
Reply #2 on:
July 22, 2006, 05:55:13 AM »
?Como va la presidencia de Garcia?
Reply #3 on:
July 24, 2006, 07:11:07 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog
?Como va la presidencia de Garcia?
Hola Guro Marc,
el 28 hay cambio de gobierno.
La gente esta con mas esperanza ahora - pensando que esta vez Alan Garcia no la va a ca...Hay rumores - de que le quiere mostrar a sus hijos que son grandes ahora, que el si puede gobernar y que no es ningun "diablo". (A Alan Garcia le decian Damian Garcia) y que el quiere reinvidicarse con sus mensionados hijos, con el Peru y con Dios...
Vamos a ver si es cierto todo eso. Bueno, gobernar peor que en su primer gobierno no es posible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply #4 on:
July 26, 2006, 06:34:50 PM »
Hola a todos, me entere que un amigo mio esta en Lima, me escribio la semana pasada preguntandome sobre las elecciones en Mexico y el me conto sobre su experiencia durante las elecciones en Peru, va su comentario:
Aqu? hubo elecciones hace unos meses y me involucr?
bastante con las situaciones que se iban dando.
Tambi?n aqu?, como all?, se evidencia de una manera
radical las posturas pol?ticas opuestas entre unas
clases y otras. Las clases medias (lo que queda de
ellas) son las m?s ignorantes y las que m?s le rinden
tributo a la televisi?n. A uno de los candidatos (de
nombre Ollanta Humala) lo satanizaron de una manera
brutal en los medios. Primero desacreditaron a Hugo
Ch?vez y lo convirtieron en el mism?simo demonio y
como ese candidato, que por cierto ten?a una propuesta
muy parecida a la de L?pez Obrador, s?lo que m?s
cargado a lo ind?gena, ten?a una clara afinidad con
Ch?vez, lo destruyeron: en la primera vuelta arras?
pero en la segunda perdi? por 800 mil votos. El
ganador es un sujeto que se llama Alan Garc?a. Un
genocida, racista, demagogo y corrupto que gobern?
Per? del 85 al 90 y aniquil? poblados enteros acusando
a sus habitantes de "terroristas", te suena?-
A ver que comentamos
Reply #5 on:
September 25, 2006, 10:59:36 AM »
Mummified dogs uncovered in Peru
By Dan Collyns
BBC News, Lima
The animals are in a remarkable state of preservation
Archaeologists in Peru have uncovered the mummified remains of more than 40 dogs buried with blankets and food alongside their human masters.
The discovery was made during the excavation of two of the ancient Chiribaya people who lived in southern Peru between AD 900 and AD 1350.
Experts say the dogs' treatment in death indicated the belief that the animals had an afterlife.
Such a status for pets has only previously been seen in ancient Egypt.
Hundreds of years before the European conquest of South America, the Chiribaya civilisation valued its dogs so highly that when one died, it was buried alongside family members.
The dogs, which have been called Chiribaya shepherds for their llama-herding abilities, were not sacrificed as in other ancient cultures, but buried with blankets and food in human cemeteries.
Biological archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 40 dogs which were naturally mummified in the desert sand of Peru's southern Ilo Valley. Now they have teamed up with Peru's Kennel Club to try to establish if the dogs represent a new distinct breed indigenous to South America.
The country is full of breeds which arrived in the last few centuries, but they believe some dogs living today in southern Peru share the characteristics of their ancestors.
The Chiribaya dog looked rather like a small golden retriever with a medium-sized snout, beige colouring, and long hair.
The only other indigenous Peruvian canine is the hairless dog, which evolved over more than 2,000 years ago from Asian ancestors brought across the Bering Straits.
It was recognised as a distinct breed just 20 years ago.
Reply #6 on:
November 05, 2006, 02:26:12 PM »
Treasure quest endangers Peru's bears
By Hugh O'Shaughnessy
BBC News, Peru
Economic development is putting some of Peru's oldest inhabitants in danger of extinction.
Spectacled bears are the only bear species found in South America I learnt I was in Paddington territory the other day 13,000 feet up in the Peruvian Andes. I was chatting to Captain Sutcliffe of the Peruvian air force whose Russian helicopter had brought me up to an isolated mine site east of the local capital Piura.
He and his crew are extremely skilful aviators.
They avoided vertical walls of rock and put us down on a spot rather smaller than you would find on a warship at sea, before buzzing off up and down the tropical valley with heavy loads of mining equipment slung underneath their aircraft. There, beside the Rio Blanco, the border between Peru and Ecuador, a British company, Monterrico Metals, is planning to dig up millions of tonnes a year of valuable copper ore and send it down a massive pipeline to the Pacific Ocean.
"Much wild life about in this altitude?" I asked.
"Well, sometimes we see bears," Sutcliffe replied.
"They're not very big but they can be aggressive. When we see them we run."
Helicopters, however useful to the mining company, must be a not particularly welcome novelty for the bears who have been inhabiting the cloud forest of these latitudes for some two million years past.
Paddington Bear's associates could be forced out of "darkest Peru"
White marks around the eyes means they are sometimes called "spectacled bears".
The males sometimes grow to two metres or more and can weigh 200 kilos. Females are smaller and lighter and look after their young for a year or more after birth. They live a vegetarian life, eating fruits and seeds the forest provides, in solitude and certainly flee contact with humans. During the day they keep to the platforms they build for themselves in the trees from where they can spy out any intruders.
For me, the exchange with Captain Sutcliffe high in the mountains perfectly encapsulated a situation which in one form or another is becoming ever more common in Peru. This country is a genuine treasure trove of mineral riches. It is the world's largest producer of silver and there is lead, copper, zinc, molybdenum - known as "Molly" in the trade - and much more. As international prices of metals have risen steeply, investors have poured in, seeking their fortunes, much as the Spanish conquistadors did 500 years ago seeking the gold of the Inca empire.
Yet this has coincided with the Peruvians taking a hard new look at what the mining - and, indeed, the metal smelting - industries are doing in Peru. They are certainly bringing more money into the country and pushing up output. The business-friendly, pro-US government of President Alan Garcia is naturally very pleased. But the hard new look has only underlined the vast damage that is being done to Peru's rivers, plains and forests and to its flora and fauna.
It has also strengthened some of the worst features of Peruvian society, namely the concentration of wealth in few hands and the criticism is not confined to the "usual suspects", the political left and the green lobby. In a hard-hitting document published last year the World Bank in Washington said, "expectations created by [mining] developments are damaged by the harm done to the environment, on the one hand, and the limits on the use and distribution of mining income, on the other."
While vast new investments have opened vast new mines, there have been a series of popular protests here in northern Peru by those whose immediate interests are harmed by the mining and who see little prospect of their families and their localities getting any benefit from the profits the mine owners expect to reap - and keep - for themselves.
One of the most famous and successful new mines is at Yanacocha which is producing fabulous amounts of gold. Yet the locals have halted the company's efforts to extend the diggings to a nearby mountain, the Cerro Quilish, which is the source of much of the area's drinking water.
And there were confrontations between police and locals when Manhattan, a Canadian company, tried to establish a mine which would have eaten deep into the town of Tambogrande and destroyed orchards which produce fine lemons and avocados. One protester was killed in the confusion.
Monterrico itself has been at odds with local people. Two protesters have lost their lives in violence. Protests centre on the possible danger to the waters which flow down from the watershed where the mine is to the Atlantic to the East and to the Pacific Ocean to the West.
The pro- and anti-mining factions seem to be digging in their positions deeper every day. The opponents say that Monterrico lacks the community's permission to be at the mine site at all and their presence is therefore illegal.
What would Paddington Bear have thought about the whole affair?
The company has until recently been waging a propaganda war against its opponents, calling them terrorists and drug dealers.
Like President Garcia - who has just brought in new restrictions on them - it looks askance at non-governmental organisations.
It also is wary about the Catholic Church which it regards as all to partial to the local peasantry. This whole development is casting a shadow over the life of the dogged Bishop of Chulucanas.
Daniel Turley, born in Chicago, 63 years ago and in poor health, is critical of attitudes on both sides. He is still committed to finding a compromise which would allow the mine to go ahead while the interests of the locals are preserved. But as I talked to him in a hospital in the city of Piura he said that reconciliation was becoming an ever more difficult task.
From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 4 November, 2006 at 1130 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.
Reply #7 on:
November 05, 2006, 02:54:28 PM »
Quote from: omar on July 26, 2006, 06:34:50 PM
Primero desacreditaron a Hugo
Ch?vez y lo convirtieron en el mism?simo demonio
Hugo se convirti? en satan?s solito. ?Acaso no lo viste en la NNUU dando ese discurso con olor de azufre?
Por cierto, en las NNUU tampoco lo quieren y por eso lo derrotaron en su ambici?n de coseguir un puesto en el Consejo de Seguridad.
Por lo visto la clase media peruana tiene mas inteligencia de la que tu le atribuyes, no es que Alan Garc?a sea ning?n santo.
Reply #8 on:
February 22, 2007, 02:57:33 PM »
U.S./PERU: U.S. Rep. John Murtha challenged the pending free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Peru on Feb. 21, calling it a threat to national security. Murtha says the FTA would allow Dubai Ports World (DPW) -- which is invested in Peru -- to invest in the United States. Although the FTA has been challenged in Congress on the grounds that it does not protect labor interests, the DPW issue is new. The FTA text does allow the United States to bar any investment on national security grounds, but Murtha argues that DPW could sue the United States for such action, potentially costing U.S. taxpayers legal fees. It is not clear that DPW would want to invest in the United States; the company has faced major political obstacles to its partnership with the U.S. port management. Murtha is making a barely veiled attempt to oppose the U.S./Peru FTA in the name of DPW, an established bogeyman.
Para mi, Murtha es un gran hijo de , , , muchos padres. Lo mas probable aqui es que el este' usando el DPW asunto para esconder que Murtha este' comprado por algun negocio que busca prevenir la competencia que ese acuerdo va a facilitar.
Reply #9 on:
March 02, 2007, 11:48:57 PM »
Saludos desde Peru. Rainer esta organizando un seminario en Lima para Martes.
Reply #10 on:
March 05, 2007, 09:54:32 PM »
Comenzara' a las 1700 y terminara a las 2100. Pongase en contacto con Rainer en 937-25-687
Reply #11 on:
March 08, 2007, 11:37:42 AM »
Guau a todos:
Tengo el orgullo de anunciar que Rainer y "Sniper" ahora encabeza un DBMA Training Group.
Tan pronto que me manden los datos que quieren que yo ponga en nuestro sitio para que la gente sepan como ponerse en contacto con ellos, lo hare'
La Aventura continua!
Reply #12 on:
June 23, 2007, 01:15:11 AM »
THE WEEKEND INTERVIEW
The famous novelist on politics, and how writing can change the course of history.
BY EMILY PARKER
Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
LIMA, Peru--"This is a story that often repeated itself," Mario Vargas Llosa says. "If a father was a businessman, he was a man who had to be complicit with the dictatorship. It was the only way to prosper, right? And what happens is that the son discovers it, the son is young, restless, idealistic, believes in justice and liberty, and he finds out that his vile father is serving a dictatorship that assassinates, incarcerates, censors and is corrupted to the bone."
Mr. Vargas Llosa could have plucked this scenario from his personal recollections of living under dictatorial rule in Peru. But he tells this story to make a more universal point: Dictatorships poison everything in their grasp, from political institutions right down to relationships between fathers and sons.
When I meet Mr. Vargas Llosa in his home in Lima, I am not surprised to find that the world-famous novelist is a natural storyteller. He speaks to me in Spanish, gripping his black-rimmed glasses in his hand and occasionally waving them around for emphasis.
Mr. Vargas Llosa's bold ideas and expressive language may make him one of Latin America's finest writers--"Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter," "The Time of the Hero" and "Conversation in the Cathedral" are just a few of his classic works--but those same traits didn't necessarily serve him well at the polls. After running for president of Peru in 1990 and losing to Alberto Fujimori, Mr. Vargas Llosa decided to devote his full attention to writing. He now lives in Lima for about three months of the year, spending the rest of his time in Europe.
"I am not going to participate in professional politics again," he says. And he doesn't have to. Mr. Vargas Llosa has found an effective way to expose the destructive nature of dictatorships, while underscoring the importance of individual liberty and free will. He just picks up his pen. "Words are acts," he says, echoing Jean-Paul Sartre. "Through writing, one can change history."
During the 1990 presidential campaign Mr. Varga Llosa emphasized the need for a market economy, privatization, free trade, and above all, the dissemination of private property. He didn't exactly receive a welcome reception. "It was a very different era, because to speak of private property, private enterprise, the market--it was sacrilegious," he says. "I was fairly vulnerable in that campaign," he continues, "because I didn't lie. I said exactly what we were going to do. It was a question of principle and also . . . I thought it would be impossible to do liberal, radical reforms without having the mandate to do them."
Now, almost 20 years later, the landscape looks very different. Mr. Vargas Llosa explains that he was propelled into politics when then-president Alan García, at the time a socialist and a populist, attempted to nationalize the banks. Today he is running the country again, but "now, the same Alan García is the champion of capitalism in Peru!" Mr. Vargas Llosa laughs merrily. "It's funny, no?"
He is relatively upbeat about Latin America today: "I'm not as pessimistic as others who believe that Latin America has returned to the time of populism, leftism." The region has its problems, to be sure, one major one coming from Caracas in the form of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. But according to Mr. Vargas Llosa, perhaps what is most remarkable is what Mr. Chávez has not been able to do.
"We have a big problem with Chávez," Mr. Vargas Llosa admits. "He's a demagogue and a 19th century socialist. He is a destabilizing force for democracy in Latin America, but what he thought would be so easy hasn't been so easy. There has been a lot of resistance."
One of Mr. Chávez's major errors was his refusal last month to renew the license of popular Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV. "International hostility was enormous," Mr. Vargas Llosa notes. "For me, most important was that the protests in Venezuela were very strong, in particular the sectors that were once very sympathetic to him, for example the students in the Central University of Venezuela, not only the students in the private universities."
It is such infringements of free speech that highlight why in places like Latin America, reading a good novel can be much more than just a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. "I think in countries where basic problems are still unresolved, where a society remains so traumatized by deep conflicts--as in Latin America or in Third World countries in general--the novel is not only a form of entertainment, but it substitutes for something that these societies are not accustomed to seeing--information, for example," Mr. Vargas Llosa says. "If you live in a country where there is nothing comparable to free information, often literature becomes the only way to be more or less informed about what's going on." Literature can also be a form of resistance, perhaps the only way to express discontent in the absence of political parties.
This all sounds true enough, but in a dictatorship, wouldn't literature be censored as well? "In undeveloped countries, censorship doesn't reach that point of subtlety, as it did in Spain for example," Mr. Vargas Llosa explains. "Because in undeveloped countries, the dictators are, well, functioning illiterates that don't think that literature can be dangerous."
To give one example, Mr. Vargas Llosa's first novel, "The Time of the Hero," about life at a military school in Lima, was burned publicly in Peru by a military dictatorship in the 1960s. But the authorities apparently didn't find the book enough of a political threat to ban it outright, and in the end it was Mr. Vargas Llosa who reaped the benefits of the public burning. "It became a best seller!" He exclaims, laughing.
There is another disturbing current in Mr. Vargas Llosa's work that is less often discussed--mistreatment of women, ranging from disrespect to outright violence. The abuses are particularly horrifying in "The Feast of the Goat," a novel based on the life of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator who terrorized the Dominican Republic from 1930 to 1961. Mr. Vargas Llosa describes traveling to the Dominican Republic and being stunned to hear stories of peasants offering their own daughters as "gifts" to the lustful tyrant. Trujillo and his sons, he tells me, could abuse any woman of any social class with absolute impunity. The situation in the Dominican Republic, which he refers to as a "laboratory of horrors," may have tended toward the extreme, but it underscores a larger trend: "The woman is almost always the first victim of a dictatorship."
Mr. Vargas Llosa discovered that this phenomenon was hardly limited to Latin America. "I went to Iraq after the invasion," he tells me. "When I heard stories about the sons of Saddam Hussein, it seemed like I was in the Dominican Republic, hearing stories about the sons of Trujillo! That women would be taken from the street, put in automobiles and simply presented like objects. . . . The phenomenon was very similar, even with such different cultures and religions." He concludes: "Brutality takes the same form in dictatorial regimes."
Did this mean that Mr. Vargas Llosa supported the invasion of Iraq? "I was against it at the beginning," he says. But then he went to Iraq and heard accounts of life under Saddam Hussein. "Because there has been so much opposition to the war, already one forgets that this was one of the most monstrous dictatorships that humanity has ever seen, comparable to that of Hitler, or Stalin." He changed his mind about the invasion: "Iraq is better without Saddam Hussein than with Saddam Hussein. Without a doubt."
Mr. Vargas Llosa's broad, visceral hatred of dictatorships in part stems from personal experience, in particular growing up in 1950s Peru under the dictatorship of Manuel Odría. "All the political parties were prohibited, there was strict censorship of radio and the press," he explains. "The university had many professors in exile and many student prisoners . . . this is the atmosphere in which a boy of my generation entered adulthood."
This period is the backdrop for "Conversation in the Cathedral," which Mr. Vargas Llosa said would be the work that he would rescue from a fire. The brilliant, four-volume novel rarely addresses Odría directly, rather zooming in on relationships between ordinary Peruvians from all levels of society. With unembellished prose, Mr. Vargas Llosa plunges you right into the heart of a nation without hope. "It's a novel in which I wanted to show what I lived through in through in those years, how the dictatorship didn't limit itself to censorship or prohibiting political life, no!" Mr. Vargas Llosa tells me. "The dictatorship created a system that impregnated every act of life."
And herein lies the power of Mr. Vargas Llosa's work: He finds that tyranny takes its toll in places we hadn't even thought to look. As for the value of freedom, perhaps he puts it best in "The Feast of the Goat": "It must be nice. Your cup of coffee or glass of rum must taste better, the smoke of your cigar, a swim in the ocean on a hot day, the movie you see on Saturday, the merengue on the radio, everything must leave a more pleasurable sensation in your body and spirit when you had what Trujillo had taken away from Dominicans 31 years ago: free will."
We begin to wrap up our interview. We both drink red wine. A room nearby houses Mr. Vargas Llosa's private library--I notice that some of the volumes are bound in leather. He tells me that there are more than 18,000 books. His collection is clearly a point of pride, but it is also a tangible representation of his belief in the power of words. Or as he would say it: "I think that literature has the important effect of creating free, independent, critical citizens who cannot be manipulated."
Ms. Parker is an assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal.
Reply #13 on:
August 16, 2007, 08:50:40 AM »
Estoy MUY preocupado por mi madre, quien vive 25 km oriente de Pisco-- osea casi en el mero centro de muchos de los terremotos que acontecieron ayer y continuan aconteciniendo hoy. Cuando trato de llamarla, la linea dice "ocupado" con el sonido que se hace cuando todas las lineas estan ocupados o descompuestos.
Cuando fui a dormir a noche, los datas que yo tenia eran que hubo un terremoto de 7.9
y mas de 10 terremotos entre 5.5 y 6.0.
Recibimos una llamada que fue desconectado despues de un minuto de alguien quien trabaja para mi madre diciendo que la carretero entre Chincha y Pisco esta' j*dido completament y nadie puede pasar. Tambien dijo que la mitad de Chincha esta' cayido.
Si unos de Uds tienen articulos sobre la situacion, por favor compartalos aqui. He aqui uno en ingles:
La Aventura continua , , ,
CHINCHA, Peru (AP) -- The death toll from a powerful earthquake rose to at least 337 Thursday, a day after the magnitude-7.9 temblor shook Peru's coast, toppled buildings and shattered roads, officials said.
More than 827 people were reported injured and the Red Cross said the toll was expected to rise.
Rescue workers struggled to reach the center of the destruction, the port city of Pisco about 125 miles southeast of the capital, Lima. Pisco's mayor said at least 200 people were buried in the rubble of a church where they had been attending a service.
''The dead are scattered by the dozens on the streets,'' Mayor Juan Mendoza told Lima radio station CPN.
''We don't have lights, water, communications. Most houses have fallen, churches, stores, hotels, everything is destroyed,'' he said, sobbing.
An AP Television News cameraman who reached the city of Chincha, about 100 miles southeast of Lima, said he counted 30 bodies under bloody sheets on the floor of the badly damaged hospital.
Another church collapsed Wednesday evening in the city of Ica, 165 miles south of Lima, killing 17, according to cable news station Canal N.
The government rushed police, soldiers, doctors and aid to the stricken areas along the coast south of the capital but hundreds of vehicles were paralyzed on the Pan American Highway by giant cracks in the pavement and fallen power lines, the AP Television News cameraman reported from Chincha.
Giorgio Ferrario, head of the Peruvian International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, said teams from the Peruvian Red Cross arrived in Ica and Pisco after 7 1/2 hours, about three times as long as it would normally have taken because the earthquake had destroyed the roads to these areas.
He said that he expected the death toll to climb as rescue teams worked in the daylight.
News reports said dozens of people in Ica crowded hospitals that suffered cracks and other structural damage. The quake also knocked out telephone and mobile phone service in the capital and to the provinces, making it impossible to communicate with the Ica area.
Electricity also was cut to Ica and smaller towns along the coast south of Lima.
An Associated Press photographer said that some homes had collapsed in the center of Lima and that many people had fled into the streets for safety. The quake shook Lima furiously for more than two minutes.
''This is the strongest earthquake I've ever felt,'' said Maria Pilar Mena, 47, a sandwich vendor in Lima. ''When the quake struck, I thought it would never end.''
Antony Falconi, 27, was desperately trying to get public transportation home as hundreds of people milled on the streets flagging down buses in the dark.
''Who isn't going to be frightened?'' Falconi said. ''The earth moved differently this time. It made waves and the earth was like jelly.''
Firefighters were called to put out a fire in a shopping center. Police reported that large boulders shook loose from hills and were blocking the country's Central Highway, which heads east into the Andes mountains.
State doctors called off a national strike that began on Wednesday to handle the emergency. President Alan Garcia also said public schools would be closed Thursday because the buildings may be unsafe.
The Civil Defense death toll of 337 first appeared on its Web site, but the organization's spokesman, Dario Ariola, refused to confirm the figure, which was much higher than the numbers provided by the health minister. But minutes later Civil Defense Commander Aristides Mussio confirmed the toll on Peru's state television station, saying one person was killed in Lima and 336 in the region of Ica.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday's earthquake hit at 6:40 p.m. about 90 miles southeast of Lima at a depth of about 25 miles. Four strong aftershocks ranging from magnitudes of 5.4 to 5.9 were felt afterward.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for the coasts of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama. A tsunami watch was issued for the rest of Central America and Mexico and an advisory for Hawaii.
The center canceled all the alerts after about two hours, but it said the quake had caused an estimated 10-inch tsunami near the epicenter.
The last time a quake of magnitude 7.0 or larger struck Peru was in September 2005, when a 7.5-magnitude earthquake rocked the country's northern jungle, killing four people. In 2001, a 7.9-magnitude quake struck near the southern Andean city of Arequipa, killing 71 people.
The region sits on two plates that are constantly shifting and Thursday's earthquake, like most earthquakes in the area, occurred when one plate dove under the other quickly, according to Amy Vaughan, a USGS geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.
The plates are always ''moving slowly, but this was a sudden shift,'' Vaughan said.
Some of the world's biggest quakes, including the catastrophic Indian Ocean temblor in 2004 that generated deadly tsunami waves, are caused by a similar movement of plates.
Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 09:00:13 AM by Crafty_Dog
Reply #14 on:
August 16, 2007, 09:34:30 AM »
Esta es la nota del día de hoy del Periodico Reforma de la Ciudad de México.
Saludos y espero que tu madre se encuentre bien.
Suman 337 muertos por terremoto en Perú
La Defensa Civil peruana también reportó 827 heridos tras el movimiento telúrico
Lima, Perú (16 agosto 2007).
El terremoto de 7.9 grados Richter que se sintió ayer en el sureste de Perú ha dejado un saldo preliminar de 337 muertos según reportó la Defensa Civil de aquél país.
El dato es más del doble de los 135 fallecidos que había reportado poco antes el ministro de Salud, Carlos Vallejos.
Además, la Defensa Civil ha reportado poblaciones casi devastadas por derrumbes de inmuebles, caminos y puentes destruidos y millares de personas desamparadas.
El comandante Arístides Mussio de la Defensa Civil dijo a la emisora estatal TvPerú que el movimiento telúrico había dejado también 827 heridos, una cifra menor a los más de mil 300 lesionados que mencionó el ministro.
Las cifras en general, todas preliminares, corresponden a las víctimas registradas en Ica y sus alrededores, una zona cercana al epicentro que se encuentra en el litoral del océano Pacífico.
Ica está 265 kilómetros al sureste de Lima.
Los medios de comunicación y autoridades regionales mencionaron datos mucho mayores de víctimas, que las autoridades buscaban confirmar.
Vallejos, de visita en Chincha a unos cuantos kilómetros antes de llegar Ica desde Lima, dijo que en esa ciudad había "una veintena de muertos" y agregó que el poblado lucía "muy maltratado, las viviendas (se) han colapsado totalmente, y el panorama es bastante desolador".
La AP constató que ese poblado estaba destruido casi en su totalidad y observó al menos una decena de muertos en las calles.
Juan Mendoza, alcalde provincial de la ciudad de Pisco que también está cerca de Ica, dijo entre sollozos a radio CPN: "No puede imaginar lo que observo, no tenemos luz, agua, comunicación, la mayor parte de casas se han caído, iglesias, empresas, hoteles, todo está derrumbado".
"Los muertos, por decenas, están regados por las calles, esto es indescriptible", señaló Mendoza y calculó que un 70% del poblado estaba totalmente destruido y que al menos 200 personas fueron sepultadas por los escombros de un templo antiguo al que asistían a un servicio religioso cuando ocurrió el terremoto.
Varias personas de la localidad comenzaron los trabajos para rescatar a las personas sepultadas bajo los restos de la iglesia.
El dato, suministrado inicialmente por medios de comunicación, fue confirmado luego por la Defensa Civil.
La prensa local informó que decenas de personas seguían llegando a los hospitales de Ica, pese a que algunos estaban bastante afectados en su estructura con grietas en los muros.
La agencia estatal de noticias Andina dijo que entre 10 y 12 personas murieron y un centenar resultaron heridas en el hospital regional de Ica, y los reportes de heridos se multiplicaban al paso de las horas.
Varios puentes y largos sectores de la autopista Panamericana estaban prácticamente destruidos en un tramo cercano a Chincha con rumbo a Ica.
El asfalto estaba totalmente resquebrajado, el alumbrado público en el suelo y miles de vehículos estaban varados por los derrumbes en el lugar, a la espera de que llegue maquinaria del gobierno.
Cientos de personas trataban de sortear los obstáculos a pie, desesperados por llegar a visitar a sus familias en la zona del desastre, mientras otros cientos dormían a la intemperie, soportando las frías temperaturas del invierno actual en Perú, en medio del desértico ambiente de la zona.
Ica se encontraba a oscuras por la caída de instalaciones eléctricas, al tiempo que se informaba del derrumbe de casas de adobe y daños en ventanales.
El presidente Alan García, tras declarar en emergencia a esa región, pidió a la población que se aleje de las costas, a pesar de que el Centro de Alertas de Tsunami del Pacífico canceló una advertencia de tsunami emitida después del sismo.
La ayuda, medicinas, alimentos, y cobijas, empezó a llegar el jueves por la madrugada, en tanto iniciaba las operaciones un puente aéreo desde Lima.
En Ica, los hospitales fueron evacuados, los enfermos fueron puestos bajo tiendas de plástico en lugares cercanos, mientras los efectivos de Defensa Civil y la policía arribaban al sitio. La policía envió más de 500 efectivos al lugar.
El sismo tuvo su origen a 120 kilómetros al sureste de Lima, en el océano Pacífico, y su duración fue aproximadamente de dos minutos.
El Instituto Geofísico dijo que se han producido más de 200 réplicas.
La policía y el ejército estaban resguardando la seguridad en prevención de saqueos en Ica, que permanecía a oscuras luego del terremoto.
De confirmarse la magnitud, este será el terremoto más fuerte sentido en Perú desde 1940, cuando se registró un movimiento de 8.2 grados que dejó 179 muertos y más de 3 mil 500 heridos.
Reply #15 on:
August 16, 2007, 12:09:09 PM »
Reply #16 on:
August 16, 2007, 12:30:42 PM »
Acabo de recibir noticias. Mi madre estaba en la sala cuando el grande terromoto (ahora se dice que fue 8.0) pego'. El techo parcialmente se cayo' y con ello la puerta al exterior. Fortunadamente una amiga estaba visitando y ella se le ayudo' a mi madre (quien tiene 75 anos) salir por una ventana. Ellas se durmieron en el van con los perros (dos Rotts).
Reply #17 on:
August 16, 2007, 04:39:06 PM »
Un email de un amigo en Lima:
felizmente en Lima no hubo tanta destrucción. El terremoto era de 8.0 scala
Richter. La peor parte
se llevó la region Pisco/Ica. En Lima se sintio y se veia como se movia la
calle, era una sensacion como
estar surfeando, el piso se movia en todas direcciones. En la región de Ica
hasta ahora hay 430 muertos y muchisima gente se quedo sin vivienda.
Desgraciadamente van a haber aun mas muertos ya que falta regiones y puebles
alejados como Lunahuana etc...Despues del primer terrremoto hubo un segundo
menos fuerte, pero el primero fue de 2 minutos que nos pareció como media
hora. Despues hubieron 120 replicas que apenas se sentian. Se cayó tambien
toda comunicación, eso fue feo, porque nadie se pudo comunicar con sus
familias y casas y la gente en la calle llorando de la desesperación.
En Chincha (cerca de Ica) se escaparon 600 prisioneros de la carcel durante
el terremoto (agarraron recien a 3o).
Hay saqueos (robos), pero tambien mucha gente se esta yendo al Sur a ayudar
con víveres etc...
Reply #18 on:
August 16, 2007, 10:31:27 PM »
Un amigo en Lima escribe:
los hechos actuales (21 00, un día despúes):
Mas de 500 muertos (siguen encontrando cadáveres)
Mas de 1300 heridos.
Ica y Pisco colabsaron (falta de agua, electricidad etc...)
La panamericana esta en algunas partes afectada y destrozada.
El gobierno reaccionó solo con llevar los 400 heridos mas graves vía aerea a
Lima. Ya pasó un día y no hubo ayuda directa del gobierno. No existe un plan
de emergencia. Se necesita agua, alimento, medicina, frazadas, carpas,
atención médica etc...
En Tambo de mora (Chincha) se fugaron 630 de 650 prisioneros despues de la
caída del muro de la carcel.
Se estan mobilisando y organisando muchas empresas y personas para
solidaridarse y dar fines materiales y tambien para ir personalmente a
apoyar a una institución o a defensa civil.
Hubo maretazos y en toda la costa entre Lima y Pisco hubo daño. Evacuaron la
noche pasada a mucha gente que vive cerca de la costa en Lima(Chorrillos,
Lima). Hasta ahora van mas de 700 replicas (movimientos sismicos).
La cosa esta fea en Pisco, Ica. Juntaron los cadáveres en la plaza de armas.
Se requiere de ayuda inmediata. Hay que trasladar los cadáveres, hay que
buscar por sobrevivientes etc...
No hay agua y no hay electricidad. Esperemos que mañana ya se vean avanzes
en la ayuda gobernal y apoyo de voluntarios.
En mi trabajo la gente ya se organizo para apoyar donando o siendo
Te mantengo al tanto...
Reply #19 on:
August 17, 2007, 09:49:15 AM »
LIMA, Peru, Aug. 16 — A day after a powerful earthquake devastated cities along Peru’s southern coast, government officials put the death toll at 437, with at least 17,000 people displaced and with wide areas without power, telephone service or road access on Thursday night.
A coffin being carried through debris on Thursday in Pisco, a port city where at least 300 victims of Wednesday’s earthquake died. More Photos »
A boy offered comfort at a makeshift hospital opened in Pisco. The quake was one of the worst ever recorded in Peru. More Photos >
At least 300 of the dead were in Pisco, a port city about 125 miles south of Lima, and more were thought to be buried in rubble, local officials said. Dozens were inside the San Clemente cathedral, which was full for Mass when the quake caused it to cave in around 6:40 p.m. on Wednesday. Witnesses said the spire bell clanged horribly in the seconds before it tumbled down.
“I am a real man, but last night I was scared,” said Luis Chávez, 31, who was in the main square when the cathedral collapsed. “There was so much dust that all I could think of was the World Trade Center pictures.”
The mayor of Pisco, Juan Mendoza Uribe, said the quake had destroyed as much as 70 percent of the city. “So much effort and our city is destroyed,” he said, crying audibly, in comments broadcast on the radio station RPP in Lima.
Power and water service were still out in Pisco on Thursday night, and many residents said they would sleep outside again, afraid that aftershocks could topple more structures. In the city center, the wreckage of dozens of old adobe homes lay in the streets. Rescuers, working well into the night, were often forced to walk far out of their way as they carried bodies, sometimes in shouldered coffins, toward a makeshift morgue at the hospital.
In nearby Chincha Alta, a wall collapsed at the Tambo de Mora prison, and about 680 prisoners escaped, according to Manuel Aguilar, vice president of the National Institute of Penitentiaries. About 29 were recaptured and sent to another jail, he said. An Associated Press Television News cameraman in Chincha Alta reported seeing at least 30 bodies laid out on a hospital balcony.
Judith Luna Victoria, a spokeswoman for the National Civil Defense Institute, said that the number of confirmed dead was 437 and the number of injured was more than 800, but the toll was expected to rise.
Officials with the United States Geological Survey on Thursday raised their initial estimate of the strength of the earthquake to a magnitude of 8.0, making it one of the biggest quakes to strike Peru in decades. Throughout the day Thursday, dozens of aftershocks kept rolling through the area, with at least 14 rated at a magnitude of 5 or larger.
Across the region, neighboring governments rushed to offer aid to Peru, including Chile, which on Monday had recalled its ambassador from Peru over a continuing maritime territorial dispute. President Bush offered his condolences, and his spokesman, Gordon D. Johndroe, said a team from the Agency for International Development was in Lima.
President Alan García declared a state of emergency and flew in to visit Pisco and Ica, another hard-hit city to the south. “There has been a good international response even without Peru asking for it, and they’ve been very generous,” he told The Associated Press in Pisco.
The president of the Peruvian Congress, Luis Gonzales Posada, called on large companies to donate water, food, blankets and even coffins to aid in the rescue and reconstruction efforts.
It was one of the worst earthquake tolls recorded in Peru, which is no stranger to the disasters given the major fault line running off its coast. In 2001, a magnitude 8.4 quake struck at Arequipa, killing 138 people. In 1868, a magnitude 9 quake struck and was followed by a tsunami that killed several thousand more people, creating the worst disaster in Peru’s history.
In Lima, the capital, witnesses described the main earthquake as having come in two main waves. Some houses collapsed in the middle of the city, and the quake collapsed many power lines and broke windows across the capital. One person was reported killed on Wednesday.
Fernando Calderon, an American in Lima, said he was in his hotel when the quake struck. In a telephone interview with CNN, he described seeing buildings swaying from right to left as the ground shook.
“Finally we started hearing glass breaking and things falling out of the building, and that’s when everybody started screaming, praying, children crying,” he said. “It was just awful.”
In Ica, dozens of buildings collapsed in the earthquake and aftershocks. The local morgue had received at least 57 bodies as of Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
The quake cracked roads and brought down rocks and soil. The main road through the area, the Pan-American Highway, had only one usable lane over a stretch of more than 20 miles, and traffic was backed up for miles past.
To visit the worst-hit towns, officials, including President García, had to use helicopters.
In Pisco, many of the survivors were in shock, wandering the streets and crowding around the overwhelmed hospital, desperate for reports about loved ones or distraught after receiving the worst kind of news.
“There are corpses all over the place,” Luis García, a reporter for the Lima newspaper El Comercio, said in a telephone interview from Pisco. “The bodies are thrown everywhere and every family is mourning over the loss of a loved one, friend, neighbor or family member.”
He added: “The people need help to remove the rubble. They need tents, water and food, because there is nothing; everything is blocked off, destroyed.”
Reporting was contributed by Ana Cecilia Gonzales Vigil from Pisco, Peru; Jenny Carolina Gonzales from Bogotá, Colombia; Laura Puertas from Lima; and Daniel Cancel from Caracas, Venezuela.
Reply #20 on:
August 17, 2007, 02:13:37 PM »
Some of you may know that my mom for the last five years my mom has lived in southern Peru helping the village of Humay, population about 200. Humay is about 18 miles east of Pisco, pictures of which have figured prominently in the fotos in the news reports the last few days about the huge 8.0 earthquake in Peru. Humay is about 10 miles from the epicenter of that 8.0 earthquake. Since then there have been 14 follow-up quakes above 5.0, with most of those being above 5.5. The devastation is extensive.
On a personal note, my mom, who is a post-youthful 75 years old, with the help of the cook had to smash her way through her living room window as debris rained down blocking the door. There is a substantial breach in the adobe wall around her property and most of Humay is leveled. People are sleeping in the streets and are hungry. Water supplies are rapidly exhausting and people are thirsty. The two small stores are closed for fear of looting. There is no electricity and the road to the main road is out of commission. Social order hangs in the balance.
What about the government? Well, the Peruvian Army briefly landed a helicopter on the soccer field, unloaded four boxes of shampoo and left.
My mom is carefully husbanding what remains of her gasoline for the generator. A wall to the prison up the road collapsed during the earthquake and 680 hardened criminals, a number of whom mom put in there, have escaped. Newspapers are reporting 500 deaths already and the number is sure to climb substantially from there. In short, the situation is bad.
Some friends of mom in Lima are buying the supplies that they can and are going to see if they can get through.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post-- what you can do: I am asking each and every person here to donate as generously as they can. Rarely in this life will you get a chance to get as much bang for the buck as here. THERE IS NO ORGANIZATIONAL OVERHEAD. The money will go 100% to my mom, who will spend 100% of it helping the people of Humay. Five years ago she left her life in the USA behind to go help this village and is perfectly positioned to know what needs to be done, and who should be doing it.
Please make checks out to the "Judy H Foundation" and send them to
Judy H Foundation
c/o Arista Investment Advisors, Ltd
255 Washington Ave. Ext. #106
Albany, NY 12205
If the funds are to be wired, please use the following information:
111 Wall Street
New York, NY 10043
ABA #: 021000089
FBO: Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.
A/C #: 40553953
For the benefit of: Judy H Foundation
Account: # 7107-3796
For tax receipt purposes, please ask those wiring funds to let us know who they are and how much they wired. They can email my mother's financial advisor Jerry Schwartz at (
) or Chris in Albany (
) or call 518-464-0319 and leave the information. The identities do not come through with the wire, only the amounts received.
For any who want to check out the Foundation, please go to
and search under "Judy H Foundation."
Thanks for all you can do.
An email from my mom
Reply #21 on:
August 23, 2007, 11:17:53 PM »
I am writing tonight to all the good friends and family who have called and emailed to find out how I am and who have helped during this crisis. It is only an hour since my email got re-established and I have been longing to contact you, thank you, and give you news from the little village of Humay, which was just about at the epicenter of the earthquake.
We are 45 kilometers in from the coastal city of Pisco, which is now 80 percent flattened, with so many people buried under its ruins that you need a mask to enter the city as the smell of the corpses is unbearable. The part of the city on the ocean where I had my apartment for the first two years I was here was pretty well washed away. The few people remaining in the city are all living on what remains of the sidewalks and streets with whatever belongings they have been able to drag out of the ruins.
The city of Chincha, about as far inland as Humay but about 45 kilometers north of us has more buildings standing if you look from the outside, but the insides are almost all completely in ruin, with buried inhabitants still waiting to be found.. The few houses that are habitable are subject to attack by gangs of roving bandits, as are the people sleeping in the streets. My right hand man lives in Chincha and is one of the few who has a solid house. 14 members of his family are huddled inside sleeping on the floor, while he spends the night on the roof with an assortment of arms and ammunition, shooting at the looters who try to enter.
In Humay hardly a house is intact. Most are in ruins or unstable, and as in Chincha, people are afraid to sleep indoors even if the house looks sort of okay, because they are terrified that even a small aftershock (and we have had both small and large aftershocks every day up to yesterday) will cause walls and adobes to fall down on them, so everyone is sleeping outdoors. By a miracle, no one died in Humay, but everywhere the children and many adults are sick with horrible bronchitis, fevers, etc. It’s down in the low forties at night, and drizzling. Most people have managed some kind of overhead shelter, but that does not maintain health for any but the fittest…..
As for me: I was in the living room with a gorgeous fire going and a good book, waiting for my dinner, when my cook came screaming out of the kitchen, the lights went out, and something fell down from the ceiling near the fireplace. I could still see because of the light from the fireplace and because I have an emergency light plugged in the wall that goes on automatically if the electricity fails. The cook was pulling at my arm and screaming hysterically and I thought something had happened to her in the kitchen. She was howling about being saved and trying to get me to get up off the sofa and to the door to the lawn. I absolutely couldn’t understand what she wanted, but to humor her I finally got up. The door wouldn’t open, and then things began falling on my head and the house was rocking and shaking wildly. There is a huge window next to the door, and we smashed through the screen and pushed the window out while big adobes kept crashing down around and on us. Finally we got out the window and away from the house and sat in the middle of the lawn where the cook’s terrified and howling children and her husband came to join us and the earth continued to act as if we were totally insignificant insects on her majestic surface. Through the windows the fire continued to burn brilliantly in the fireplace.
It really did seem possible that the earth would open and swallow us. I kept trying to make light of it to the children and the cook, but even after the shaking stopped they were inconsolable. I had the husband (my driver) bring the car around and got the children into it and we moved down the property away from the house. I felt it was a good idea to use the lights from the car as it was a very black night. Unfortunately the shadows on the ground kept appearing like cracks in the earth to the children and their hysterics were very hard to control. Eventually things got quieter and I suggested that we all sleep in my car (a 7
passenger van) pointed at the gate so that if it became appropriate to leave we could do it rapidly. They all refused and took blankets and slept outside – if you could call it sleeping. I grabbed some blankets and stayed in the car with the dogs. After trying to soothe everyone else, I sat there shaking and trying to think wise thoughts until morning, but it was definitely the longest night of my life. I never shut my eyes and kept watching the spot where I knew the sun would come up. When it finally did, I was surprised to find myself full of joy at being alive, and singing every hymn of praise to God I ever learned, for granting me another day in which to live and work and love you.
Because the village of Humay is small (about 700 people in the center) they were able to organize themselves better than the cities of Chincha, Pisco, and Ica, into groups around a ‘common pot,’ who all cook together and sleep in a common area, such as the stadium or a certain field. This makes the food supplies go further, provides a safety net and social support, and makes the delivery of relief services relatively easy. Humay is also a ‘district’ made up of other small villages which have also organized themselves along similar lines.
After a day the problems that set in were lack of electricity which made the nights difficult, the cold, and the horrible decisions made by shop-owners who to refused to sell food, hoping to jack up prices later. Also in some areas water pipes broke during the earthquake and people began getting their water from irrigations ditches. Panic set in.
The main road from Lima had opened up in places making deliveries from Lima in the north almost impossible, and when trucks did come, the people in Chincha and San Clemente, just above us, stopped them and stole everything from them if they could, so almost nothing got through to Humay and other little needy communities beyond.. The police were helpless against the organized thieves combined with the desperate populations who were stealing out of fear of starvation. It was ghastly.
With the help of my best friend in Lima, Gustavo, I bought a truckload of rice, milk, beans, sugar, cereal. canned fish, crackers, and had it sent down. The men who work in my fields met the truck en route before it got into trouble. Some were in my own truck from the fields and some in my pickup truck. Each man was armed with a stout long pole, With the pickup truck in the lead and the bigger truck behind, they escorted the delivery truck to Humay, making it clear that anyone who tried to interfere with the delivery would have a lot of angry men and a lot of thick poles to contend with. The truck got through and we were able to distribute food to 13 different ‘common pots.’ I have another truckload coming down Friday the 24th.
Various international organizations are sending trucks down now, and more are getting through, so the panic is abating, although fruit and meat don’t exist.. I’m sad to say that no aid seems to be from the United States. Two groups of angels have dropped from the sky into our village however. The first are a group of volunteer firemen from Spain. Their mission is actually to provide clean drinking water when needed and they have already installed a new water purification plant for 3,500 people here in Humay. They have, in the two days they’ve been here, begun training 4 of our people in its maintenance. They have also brought a doctor, and for once, medicines. (We often get doctors volunteers who see patients and cheerfully prescribe what’s needed to people who in a million years couldn’t afford the prescriptions). They are donating 15 gorgeous tents the size of houses for the families I think are in the greatest need (for example, those with infants) and very likely will be sending help with engineers and money for some reconstruction. Their patron saint is the wife of the president of Spain. How we were lucky enough to attract them to Humay, I’ll never know. All 16 of them are now staying at our house, cooking and laughing around the
kitchen table, making all kinds of plans, and being a general delight. They all just told me that they are arranging for yet another truckload of food to come down on Saturday. Imagine!
The money that some of you were able to send to the Foundation will be going for many purposes, but the water project is a very important one. This purified water needs to be delivered to people outside the very small area served by ancient pipes of Humay – only used by about 150 or 200 families. We need to purchase about 15 expensive 1,500 litre elevated tanks for a great number of outlying other areas that make up greater Humay, and we need to buy a little tank/truck with a pump in which we can deliver this water. Almost every child here has intestinal parasites sapping his nutrition and lowering his intelligence.
We also need to begin to insist that every house have some sanitary facility. Most of them here have nothing! This is a very costly project.
The second group of angels is Doctors Without Borders. They are a world wide organization, based in France. Anywhere in the world where there is trouble, their first-class doctors travel to provide free medical service and medicine to whomever needs it. They have just arrived in Humay for a stay of a month or two. I have been able to offer them two houses in our grape fields. Not only will they be treating people, but we will be organizing a group of talks about preventive medicine, feminine health, child health, and many issues that never get treated here. For instance, almost every woman has urinary tract infections which are completely preventable, as well as ‘female complaints.’ Babies regularly have raging fevers and diarrea. Conversations about avoiding the most common ailments, and treating others will be absolutely invaluable. The Foundation will be making available printed material as needed, as well as a locale for ongoing groups on these subjects and others. Your donations will help me buy a quantity of the most needed medicines for those who cannot afford them – which is just about everyone. I can buy just about any medicine here without a prescription.
I’ll need to buy incredible quantities of soap. Hand soap, laundry soap. And small tubs to stand in and wash yourself for people who don’t have houses any more. And rolls and rolls of vinyl sheeting to line the straw matting that everyone is using to construct temporary housing until regular housing can be rebuilt. And so thank you, thank you, thank you, for everything from kind thoughts and caring to the money that makes it possible for me to stretch my own money and accomplish a lot for these little communities
Good night for now.
Reply #22 on:
August 25, 2007, 08:49:11 AM »
PISCO, Peru, Aug. 23 — Through the choking smoke and with little light to guide him, Luis Palomino dug furiously through the rubble of the San Clemente church here two hours after last week’s earthquake buried parishioners under a pile of adobe stones.
Luis Palomino and his father, Romulo, pulled people from the rubble of a church in Pisco, Peru, after the earthquake.
Then, somewhere in the distance, he heard a baby crying.
Disoriented, Mr. Palomino, 30, said he could not locate the noise, until about five hours later, around 1 a.m., when he and his cousin Abel finally pulled 7-month-old Gerson Williams Alviar from beneath the body of his father, William.
While Gerson survived, both of the baby’s parents and all three of his sisters died in the church that night. So did as many as 60 members of one extended family, the Espinos, to whom the baby is related.
More than a week after the earthquake, the baby’s grandparents and his rescuers insist that if the government had mobilized its rescue efforts sooner, Gerson would not be an orphan today. Nor, they say, would so many people — about 540 in all, more than 432 of them in Pisco — have died from lack of air or from injuries suffered in the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that shook southern Peru on Aug. 15.
As it was, families here say they were left to sift the ruins for the dead and the living, amid faint cries and the sounds of cellphone buttons being pressed. “People were alive in there, but no help came,” said Kiara Alviar, 16, one of Gerson’s aunts. “It didn’t have to end this way.”
Professional rescue teams and heavy equipment to move debris did not arrive in Pisco until the next morning, more than 12 hours after the town of 90,000 had been demolished. Many of the victims choked to death on the thick dust cloud from the crumbled adobe stones, officials said.
Peruvians around the country now refer to the disaster as the Pisco earthquake. But the sad fact is that in those first hours, few outside Pisco knew either where it had struck or that it had been so devastating.
The temblor took out Pisco’s electricity and cut off all communications, including fixed-line phones and cellphones. Police radios, the few that there were, did not function, giving local officials little ability to contact rescuers in Lima, the capital city, about a four-hour drive away.
“The national police didn’t have the capacity to do anything,” said the Rev. Luis Miró, a priest at the San Clemente church. “It was a chaotic state. You couldn’t call Lima, there was no light. They didn’t have working radios. It was a huge failure.”
In the days since, many in Pisco have questioned the government’s emergency management system. That night, Alan García, Peru’s president, declared that few deaths were expected and that damage appeared limited.
“Thank God, the earthquakes have not resulted in a great catastrophe,” Mr. García said on television.
But as emergency response teams were mobilizing to reach Ica, the seat of one of Peru’s most important agricultural regions, and Chincha, the initial quake and its aftershocks had leveled more than 85 percent of Pisco, a seaside town of mostly modest adobe homes.
In recent days, Mr. García has said publicly that he regrets the collapse of the telephone system and that the country needs more communication reserves. Even on the night of the tragedy, he said, “Our country should be better connected for circumstances like this.”
That night more than 300 relatives and friends had filled the 200-year-old San Clemente church to pay tribute to Alejandro Nery Espino, the family patriarch, a well-respected man who had managed a fleet of city minibuses and had died a month before of a heart attack at age 67.
The Mass began at dusk. The Espino family filled the first two rows of pews, with friends and other relatives behind them. Just as the Rev. Emilio Torres was finishing the service, the earthquake struck. Witnesses, including two priests in the church, said the earth moved up and down like a jackhammer. Then it swayed from side to side.
“I thought I was dead for sure,” said the Rev. Alfonso Berrade, who was having a cup of tea in the priests’ residence across a courtyard.
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As the roof began raining stones onto them, the churchgoers screamed. Some ran for the exits. About 15 bodies were later found buried at the church’s front door, said Maximo Acosta, the head prosecutor in Pisco.
Mr. Palomino and his father, Romulo, 49, were in Pisco visiting family that Wednesday night. Mr. Palomino’s grandparents were attending the service for Mr. Espino, a longtime friend. Father and son groped their way through the darkened streets with Abel. They finally reached the church around 8 p.m. to search for Mr. Palomino’s grandparents and little cousin.
Once inside, they concentrated on the church’s center area, where they knew most of the mourners would have been sitting.
Then Mr. Palomino heard baby Gerson’s cries, but only for a moment. First, he thought the cries were coming from outside the crumbled church. Moments later, he could not pick them out from the quiet moaning of other churchgoers, buried but alive.
The men continued pulling away stones and calling for family members. Early on, a captain with the National Police yelled at them to get out. “Leave them! Leave them! Get out of here!” the elder Mr. Palomino recalled the captain saying.
The Palominos ignored him and continued their work, dragging both the dead and the living through the church’s front entrance. Romulo Palomino said they pulled out about 20 people, eight of whom were alive.
Local officials in Pisco confirmed that the Palominos had recovered several bodies. They were not alone; the Palominos said they saw other family members working feverishly through the dark, dusty haze, desperate to save their loved ones.
Three hours into the search, Luis Palomino again heard a baby faintly crying. Once he and his cousin had located the sound, they dug for two more hours before finally finding the baby under his father.
“The father saved the baby,” Mr. Palomino said. “He shielded his body and supported all the weight of the falling stones on his back.”
Romulo Palomino, meanwhile, had pulled his own relatives from the church. They were badly injured but alive, he said. But his mother and niece died on the way to a nearby hospital, and his father died once there, he said.
At least 90 people died inside the church in all, about two-thirds of them members of the Espino family.
“The dust and the pressure of the adobes and the columns, it was just too much,” Romulo Palomino said. “It was the dust more than anything that was killing people.”
The morning after the earthquake, father and son took tiny Gerson to a clinic a few blocks away to be examined. The next day, on Friday, relatives of the boy tracked Luis Palomino down. The baby instantly recognized Diego, one of his uncles, the elder Mr. Palomino said.
Today baby Gerson, known as Willy by his surviving family, is living in Ica with his maternal grandparents. Gerson’s cuts have healed. He smiled and looked contented on Wednesday as his aunt Kiara held him and rocked him in a small blanket. But he will never know his mother, Flor de Maria Alviar, a homemaker to her four children, or his father, William Herrera Espino, who was a private security guard. The couple had hoped to open a small business of their own, perhaps a clothes shop, said Manuel Alviar, Gerson’s grandfather. When the baby is older, his relatives plan to tell him more about the day he lost his family in San Clemente.
“I plan to tell him the truth,” said his Marta Alviar, his grandmother. “I will tell him how the help didn’t come soon enough, and how his father saved him, how he gave his life to protect him, as any father should.”
Reply #23 on:
August 25, 2007, 07:48:42 PM »
Peru quake victims battle hunger, cold
By EDISON LOPEZ, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 56 minutes ago
PISCO, Peru - An unforgiving wind lashes Juan Escate as he huddles around a
bonfire with his three children, chilling him as he ponders how to fulfill
his wife's dying plea.
Last week's magnitude-8 earthquake sent Escate's home on the outskirts of
Pisco tumbling down, burying his wife Doris in rubble as she rushed their
16-year-old daughter to safety.
"Promise me you'll take care of my children," he says were his wife's last
The quake forced Escate and thousands of others in this impoverished port
city on Peru's central coast into crudely constructed shelters. Icy ocean
winds carry sand from the beaches and people keep watch all night against
Adults say they are given a handful of rice with some potatoes at midday.
Children receive hot oatmeal for breakfast. Civil Defense has distributed
tents to some survivors, but most are still in flimsy makeshift shelters
near their homes made from pieces of wood and plastic sheets.
Escate's eyes are fixed on a giant pot of steaming rice and potatoes. The
food is not for him and his hungry neighbors but for the group of soldiers
protecting the homeless families from robbery - aid is more valuable now
than personal belongings.
"I don't know what I'm going to do. My children were left without a mother
and I have to take care of them alone," said Escate, his hands callused from
years as a garbage collector. The 16-year-old daughter survived but suffered
a fractured hip and is in a Lima hospital.
"She doesn't know her mother has left us," he said, sitting with his three
sons, ages 5, 8 and 10. The youngest was crying, a thick wool blanket up to
his eyes. The other two sat close to their father, listening intently.
More than 85 percent of the homes here were destroyed and at least 340
people were killed in this city of 90,000 according to Civil Defense
officials. Over all, the earthquake killed 514 in several cities, according
to the Civil Defense.
Wrapped in thick, scratchy blankets, survivors listen to the sound of the
crackling fire that burns on one of the few street corners in the San
Clemente district not blocked by dusty rubble.
Juan Camasca, 37, said 50 of his neighbors were lucky enough to eat a small
piece of chicken after one of the community members slaughtered his animals
to feed them.
He said life is hardest on the outskirts of Pisco, where aid is pouring in
and is available in more than a dozen points throughout the city, but
passing by those just outside.
"The aid came for three days after the earthquake," Camasca said. "They gave
us water, hot water even, but they stopped coming." He said he watched his
friends unsuccessfully try to flag down trucks full of food that didn't even
Last week, a 6-week-old infant died of pneumonia after sleeping with her
family outside their badly damaged home in the nearby province of Canete.
Family members were worried that the house would topple over from one of the
strong aftershocks, which continued for days. They complained that
humanitarian aid did not reach them.
President Alan Garcia announced this week that electricity had returned to
much of the devastated region. But large areas of Pisco remain without
lights. Bonfires illuminate the shadows in the tent cities on its outskirts.
The government has said that rebuilding coastal towns will cost about $220
Ten people are sleeping in Escate's shelter, lighted by a candle stuck
precariously to a wooden plank. Two soldiers peek through the blanket that
serves as the door, to make sure everyone is safe.
"A group of people who came by car tried to loot here, but the town drove
them out and they were captured," said Jorge Huaman, a soldier patrolling
the area, rubbing his hands together to keep warm.
Food is scarce, and government aid has been patchy, especially to rural
areas. U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Margareta Wahlstrom, the deputy
emergency relief coordinator, said there is enough water, food, sheeting and
blankets in the country, but that aid efforts here have been poorly
"There've been many actors in place, and there hasn't been good enough
coordination so that the direction the government has given has been
suitably followed," she said Friday.
Garcia's government has also blamed the country's Civil Defense for not
acting quickly and effectively.
Reply #24 on:
August 27, 2007, 10:33:07 PM »
Un amigo en Lima me escribe:
Si ahora leí todo del foro. Lo que mas impacta es el mail de tu madre que esta en la región, porque es horrible la situación en el sur y la tierra no ha parado de temblar desde entonces.
Te quería comentar un fenómeno que acompañó al terremoto: Durante el terremoto se ilumino el cielo (6 40 pm es casi oscuro). En ese momento mucha gente pensó que es el fin del mundo y que la tierra iba a abrirse. Parece que en terremotos muy fuertes la energía soltada en tierra se transforma de alguna manera en el cielo en luz.
Después de mas de una semana se pueden ver avances de ayuda. El sistema no estaba preparado para accionar de manera inmediata. Lo mismo pasó con Defensa civil etc…
La primera semana fue caótica. La gente se desesperaba por que no había agua ni alimento ni electricidad. Mi cuñado fue con víveres a los tres días y me contó lo siguiente:
Primeramente para ir tienes que irte en una camioneta 4x4. Tenia que entrar con 20 soldados a la cuidad y a pesar de la escolta para asegurar su vida arrasaron con los víveres (alimento, carpas etc..) y les arrancaron las cosas de la camioneta. Muchos transportes llegaban solo a las cuidades con víveres, fueron arrancados y a los pueblos mas alejados no llega nada. También afectada esta la serranía de la región. Hasta ahora no llega ayuda.
Lo que mas hacia falta en ese momento era agua. (hasta ahora)
El segundo fin de semana ya se vio avances de la ayuda pero sigue el problema con el agua.
Se mando mucha ropa (2100 toneladas fueron juntados en Lima y enviados al sur) y se dono 2 millones 700 mil Soles desde Lima a los hermanos del sur. Falta ahora carpas de emergencia para la gente, seguridad, atención medica y en muchas partes electricidad y agua.
Es un invierno en la costa muy frió este año y con la humedad tan alta es un verdadero problema para toda la gente que vive afuera.
La situación esta un poco mejor en algunas zonas y regiones donde volvió la electricidad. Se esta haciendo censo y también otras cosas de carácter organisatario.
El enfoque esta ahora también en la reconstrucción de las cuidades y en soluciones rápidas para toda la gente que quedo al aire libre. Motiva ver también al ejemplo de Colombia donde fueron destruidas dos cuidades y ahora quedaron modernas y bonitas.
Estamos todos conscientes que las casas en la región del sur tienen sus 100 años y que la mayoría esta construida de adobe. Por radio escuché como reporteros sobrevolaron la región y dieron justo el ejemplo de Humay que estaba al 70% destruida.
La región es una región muy rica y que tiene muchos productos de agricultura para la exportación. La visión es ahora reconstruir viviendas modernas y antisísmicas y incentivar con nuevos proyectos la exportación. Eso en mi opinión seria algo muy saludable porque se estaría dando un paso para la descentralización que urge hace mucho tiempo. Con trabajo creado (la construcción muevo muchos sectores de la economía) por la reconstrucción que tiene que ser moderna y bonita, mas los trabajos que crean las industrias de la agricultura podría surgir de la tragedia a medio plazo algo muy fructífero.
El presidente dio tres órdenes:
1. Desde Cerro Azul (playa 120 km al sur de Lima) hasta Chincha van a construir ahora la carretera mas moderna del Perú.
2. Se va a construir un aeropuerto en Pisco.
3. Van a concesionar el puerto marítimo de Pisco.
Ha llegado ayuda del extranjero (España reaccionó rápido) y la gente en Perú se solidarizo.
Eso fue lo positivo hasta ahora…
Metidas de pata:
1. Después del terremoto Alan García le habló al pueblo por la televisión:
“Felizmente no hubo tanto daño…”(en ese momento se pensó en Lima que solo habían
muerto tres personas-por falta de comunicación que cayó completamente)
2. A la semana aparecieron en la región afectada latas de atún con imágenes de Humala y también de Chávez. Humala dijo que no venia de ellos y que eso era de muy mal gusto.
3. Ministro Rafael Rey regala como agradecimiento a los países que apoyaron en la
región del sur, botellas de Pisco con una etiqueta que dice Pisco 7.9 (como el terremoto en la
scala Richter). Al día siguiente retiró las botellas porque a todo el mundo le pareció muy
desplazado y que se podría mal interpretar.
Reply #25 on:
September 11, 2007, 01:19:08 PM »
this is my buddy! Love, Mom
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2007 02:03:17 +0000
El último balance, en información de los bomberos, habla de más de 500 muertos y más de 1500 heridos
Una replica de 5,5 grados levanta el pánico en Perú
La tragedia de Perú no tiene fin, más bien al contrario. Una réplica de 5,5 grados en la escala de Richter, según el Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP), ha vuelto a estremecer hoy el departamento peruano de Ica, el más afectado por el temblor que el miércoles azotó Perú. Sin embargo, desde Estados Unidos se ha fijado esta nueva réplica en una magnitud de 6 grados. El último balance habla de más de 500 muertos y más de 1500 heridos. La ciudad de Pisco, de 130.000 habitantes, ha resultado dañada gravemente en un 70%.
"El principal problema es que Pisco prácticamente ya no existe". Así de contundente se ha mostrado en la Cadena Ser Julio Franco, jefe de operaciones de Bomberos Sin Fronteras en Pisco, una de las poblaciones más afectadas por el terremoto que sacudió ayer a Perú.
Pisco se enfrenta a su segunda noche en tinieblas, ya que aún no está restablecido el servicio eléctrico. La mayoría de sus habitantes han sido trasladados al estadio de la ciudad. Los ciudadanos temen que grupos de delincuentes intenten perpetrar robos y saqueos. El Ejército ha intervenido en la seguridad, para evitar "intentos de vandalismo", según ha explicado el presidente del Consejo de Ministros, Jorge del Castillo.
El jefe de operaciones de Bomberos Sin Fronteras en Pisco, Julio Franco, ha explicado para la SER la delicada situación que se vive en la ciudad peruana: “Todo está destrozado. Todo ha sido barrido. La Iglesia se vino abajo. Tratar de narrarlo es sumamente difícil, pero lo último que perdemos es la esperanza”.
Julio Franco ha contado cómo se desarrollan las labores de rescate y mostró su esperanza de encontrar a alguien con vida: “Estamos trabajando con unidades caninas y con un batallón de ingenieros para no tocar donde no se debe”.La noche, en los edificios públicos
El presidente peruano ha solicitado a los alcaldes que abran los edificios públicos para evitar que los damnificados pasen la noche a la intemperie.
Los afectados por el seísmo se han quejado de la lentitud y la mala distribución de la ayuda humanitaria. Jorge del Castillo ha admitido que está produciéndose retrasos el reparto de esta ayuda, pero aclaró que esto se ha debido a que los envíos por carretera se han demorado por los graves daños que ha sufrido la Panamerica Sur.
Mientras, las labores se centran en la desesperada búsqueda de supervivientes sin servicios básicos y problemas de comunicación. Los departamentos más afectados, el de Ica y Cañete, han sido declarados zona de emergencia por el gobierno. Los equipos de rescate trabajan contrarreloj, especialmente en Ica y Pisco, y se hace todo lo posible para hacer llegar a la mayor brevedad la ayuda humanitaria.
Desde Lima han partido varios aviones hacia la zona más afectada con varias toneladas de comida, mantas, tiendas de campaña y medicamentos, y su distribución será coordinada desde el área de la catástrofe. Además, se creará un puente aéreo con la capital para trasladar a los heridos con el fin de no saturar los hospitales de esta región. Una de las prioridades es restablecer el servicio de agua potable, para lo que ha solicitado grupos electrógenos para hacer que funcionen los pozos que pueden suministrar el agua a los damnificados.
Por otro lado, desde que se produjera el primer temblor, se han sentido en Perú 368 réplicas, según el Instituto Geofísico de Perú. Por problemas en el servicio telefónico y una gran congestión en las líneas, las emisoras de radio se han convertido en un medio de enlace entre los peruanos que llaman desde distintos lugares del país para tener noticias de sus seres queridos.
Reply #26 on:
September 22, 2007, 09:18:41 AM »
Chileans Order Peru’s Ex-Chief Home for Trial
By SIMON ROMERO
Published: September 22, 2007
SANTIAGO, Chile, Sept. 21 — Chile’s Supreme Court on Friday approved the extradition of Peru’s former president, Alberto K. Fujimori, on charges of human rights abuses and corruption during his time in power in the 1990s.
Peruvians with photos of relatives who were killed at La Cantuta University today celebrating a ruling by Chile’s Supreme Court to extradite Peru’s former president.
The ruling, which cannot be appealed, may have broader influence, legal experts said. In Latin America and elsewhere, former heads of state have normally been able to avoid extradition, even between countries with treaties, or they have been sent for trial before special tribunals, usually after political negotiations between governments.
The very fact that Chile’s judiciary seriously reviewed the case at the request of Peruvian prosecutors was exceptional, and the judges then treated Mr. Fujimori, Peru’s president from 1990 to 2000, like any citizen, handling his case in its own courts.
After the ruling, Mr. Fujimori, 69, continued under house arrest in a mansion in this capital city, where he has been since June while awaiting a ruling on the extradition request. He arrived here in 2005, en route from exile in Japan back to Peru, where he had wanted to return to power.
Mr. Fujimori faced a return home on Friday under circumstances very different from what he had hoped. The prospect of his trial and imprisonment in Peru seems certain not only to undo those ambitions, but also to introduce a polarizing and potentially destabilizing figure back into Peru’s politics.
“For me this is an opportunity to return,” Mr. Fujimori said in comments Friday on Peruvian radio, “because my objective is to reunite with the people.”
“I’m physically and emotionally prepared to deal with this situation,” he said.
Mr. Fujimori has retained a loyal following in Peru despite the revelations of abuse and generalized corruption in institutions controlled by him and his former spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos. Even today the government of President Alan García relies on votes from pro-Fujimori lawmakers to approve legislation, and declarations from prison by Mr. Fujimori could alter Peru’s political landscape.
“This is not the best scenario for Alan García, since Fujimori will almost certainly make waves,” said José Ugaz, a Peruvian lawyer who was a special state attorney investigating Mr. Fujimori and Mr. Montesinos. “But it is a clear victory against corruption and impunity.”
Peru’s comptroller general has estimated that Mr. Fujimori received $43.2 million to $59.4 million from the national intelligence service from 1992 to 2000, and he is accused of arranging the transfer of $15 million in state funds to Mr. Montesinos shortly before the collapse of his government.
In addition, Mr. Fujimori is accused of human rights abuses related to the activities of the Colina Group, a secretive squad of military intelligence officers believed to have carried out more than two dozen extrajudicial killings in the early 1990s. The squad carried out massacres in which 25 people died in 1991 and 1992.
“This is not vengeance, but justice,” said Gisela Ortiz, 35, the sister of one of nine students killed by the group at La Cantuta University in 1992. The squad’s operatives shot and killed the students and a professor, later hiding their bodies. “I feel tranquillity,” Ms. Ortiz said as she and other relatives of victims gathered Friday at a park in Lima.
Mr. Fujimori has denied the charges, despite videotaped evidence in which the death squad’s operational head stated that Mr. Fujimori specifically approved policy creating the group.
“This will strengthen us because the truth will become known,” Santiago Fujimori, Mr. Fujimori’s brother and a Peru congressman, said in comments to the Andina news agency.
After faxing his resignation from Tokyo in 2000, Mr. Fujimori received citizenship from Japan, from which his parents had emigrated to Peru.
In 2005 Mr. Fujimori unexpectedly ended his self-imposed exile and traveled to Chile, apparently intending to return to Peru and try for a political comeback. But he was arrested soon after he arrived, and Peru quickly sought extradition.
Chile’s Supreme Court had been reviewing the case since July, when one of its members ruled against extradition. Under Chilean law, the case was appealed to the full court. The court said last week that it had reached a decision, but delayed its ruling until after a national holiday that ended Wednesday.
“It was easier than expected to get to this point,” said Justice Alberto Chaigneau, who announced the ruling, pointing to the court’s unanimous decision on the human rights charges.
The ruling could ease political tension between Chile and Peru, at odds for decades over maritime boundaries. President Michelle Bachelet phoned Mr. García to tell him of the ruling.
Chile’s decision to take up the case was significant, given its courts’ previous hesitance to grant the extradition of a Nazi war criminal and a perception that the judiciary lacked independence during and after the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who presided over human rights abuses.
“This is a breaking point in international law,” said Alfredo Etcheberry, the Chilean lawyer who represented Peru’s government in the extradition case. “It is the first time Chile grants delivery of a former head of state by way of extradition to the country where he is wanted.”
Before now, Chile and other countries have been reluctant to do that. Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, the former dictator of Paraguay, for example, lived in exile in Brazil from 1989 until his death last year. Despite a treaty between the countries, and the fact that he was wanted on murder charges, no serious effort was made to extradite him.
In other recent cases, former heads of state have been turned over to international tribunals. Serbia delivered Slobodan Milosevic to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and Nigeria handed over Charles Taylor, the former dictator of Liberia, to face trial by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
But the Chilean decision offers a contrast, because it was a domestic court and not the executive branch in negotiation with other governments that ruled to extradite a former head of state.
José Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director for Human Rights Watch, said the ruling fit a trend begun when the British House of Lords ruled that General Pinochet could be extradited to Spain to face charges of torture.
“This is a significant historical decision for both Chile and Peru,” Mr. Vivanco said. “It involves the workings of domestic institutions, not political negotiations between governments.”
But in the Pinochet case, the British courts ultimately turned down Spain’s extradition request and let the general return to Chile on grounds that a series of strokes had left him unfit for trial.
“A taboo has been broken, with Fujimori treated like any other person accused of embezzlement or murder who flees to Chile,” said M. Cherif Bassiouni, an expert on extradition at the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. “The symbolic consequences of this decision will embolden other countries to say that nobody is above the law.”
Andrea Zarate contributed reporting from Lima.
Reply #27 on:
September 27, 2007, 05:51:38 PM »
U.S./PERU: The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee approved a free trade agreement (FTA) with Peru on Sept. 25. The accord was passed in a "mock" hearing that gave legislators a chance to offer amendments to the deal before its submission to Congress for a formal vote. No amendments were suggested. Congress now has 90 days to approve or reject the agreement without filibuster or changes to the deal. The Senate Finance Committee gave its initial approval to a draft of the agreement Sept. 21. FTA talks between the United States and Peru were concluded nearly two years ago; Peru ratified the agreement in 2006, but the deal has languished in the U.S. legislature amid concerns related to labor and environmental conditions in the South American country. Peru made changes to the deal in June and has since lobbied heavily for U.S. approval. The passage of Peru's FTA is particularly significant because Washington is facing political obstacles to the approval of two other proposed FTAs with Latin American countries Colombia and Panama.
Reply #28 on:
November 07, 2007, 08:20:02 AM »
Pass the Peruvian F.T.A.
Published: November 7, 2007
Congressional Democrats took their time, but more than a year after it was originally signed, the free trade agreement between the United States and Peru is finally due for a vote in the House of Representatives today.
Democrats should vote for it. While the agreement is expected to pass on the strength of a majority of Republican votes, it would be a pity if Democratic leaders were not able to muster a substantial number of votes in favor of a deal they played such a large role in making — one that is likely to boost American jobs and help relations with an ally in a challenging region of the world.
The Peruvian agreement has had a tortuous journey, entangled in the growing Democratic hostility toward trade. Peru had to amend the original deal to add commitments on labor rights and the environment. Charles Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, had to work hard to bring some of his colleagues on board.
Despite these efforts, some estimates put Democratic support at less than 100 votes.
Democrats are right to worry about the stagnation of workers’ wages and to be concerned about those who lose their jobs because of increased competition from cheaper labor overseas. But these problems should be addressed through better education and training, a more robust social safety network and more progressive taxation to mitigate the impact of stagnating wages. Throttling trade would hurt more people than it would help.
The Peruvian deal would help expand trade between Peru and the United States, which today stands at about $9 billion. It would give American businesses greater access to Peru’s markets in everything from grains to tractors and other machinery.
Perhaps more important, the agreement would strengthen an essential ally in the combat against illegal narcotics in the Andes and tighten relations with one of the United States’ few remaining friends in South America — where Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is gaining allies by spreading oil wealth around. In an open letter, all eight living former secretaries of state urged Congress to approve the Peru deal.
There are other trade agreements waiting in the wings with South Korea and Panama, and Congress should approve them. The pending deal with Colombia should also pass once the government of Álvaro Uribe demonstrates progress in bringing to justice the paramilitary leaders guilty of human rights violations and their backers in the Colombian government.
A group of Democratic leaders from the Clinton administration and Congress recently sent a letter to Congressional Democrats pointing out that rejecting the trade agreements signed in Latin America “would set back regional U.S. interests for a generation.”
Their argument also works on a bigger map. It would be a folly for the United States to turn its back on trade. Democrats, who have taken control of Congress and might soon take the White House, should not lose sight of that fact.
Reply #29 on:
December 25, 2007, 05:38:50 PM »
21 Diciembre 2007 2:24
Perú: Takanakuy, “Cuando la sangre hierve” Una tradición indígena que se celebra en Navidad
clasificado en: Actualidad.
Una tradición indígena de catarsis y justicia social que se celebra en fiestas de Navidad
Por Víctor Laime Mantilla
Los orígenes de la Wayliya se remontan a los resultados del gran movimiento cultural, religioso e ideológico “Taki Unquy” (1560) que con mayor esencia se dio en Ayacucho, Huancavelica y Apurímac. En el transcurso de los años aún supervive en la provincia de Chumbivilcas, obviamente con cambios, más de forma que de fondo, a los que ha tenido que ser sometida durante el Virreynato y épocas ulteriores.
El “Taki Unquy” como manifiesta el investigador Rafael Varón Gabai: “fue una respuesta violenta a la colonización europea del Perú, que tuvo como base la tradición indígena con dos vertientes, el taki o cantar histórico (ideológico) que sirvió como vínculo integrador de la comunidad con su pasado, y el otro, los rituales nativos, especialmente aquellos de las festividades orientadas a la prevención de males”.
En el Wayliya se ha perdido el ritual prehispánico con las características propias del movimiento. En cambio, tiene en esencia el takiy, el canto o el cantar, algunos con contenidos históricos y otros con contenidos actuales que endemonian, envenenan, transforman anímicamente y liberan al danzante.
La Wayliya fusionada al Takanakuy, como es visto y practicado por la comunidad, muy bien podrían ser el gran resurgimiento del movimiento “Nuevo Taki Unquy” que actualmente se viene expandiendo sutilmente por distintas comunidades de la provincia de Chumbivilcas y capitales de ciudades como Arequipa, Lima y Cusco.
La Wayliya es una forma de celebrar una fiesta de encuentro o Tupay de fuerzas duales en donde todos, unísonamente, exclaman “Wayliya, Waylihiya, Wayliya” y en algunas comunidades “Waylaya, Walayay, Waylaya, Waylaya” como una forma
de reflejar libertad, alegría o éxito.
El ritmo del marco musical y los pasos marciales de los disfrazados danzarines de la Wayliya marcan el compás o el tiempo con una sonaja hecha de un palo que se asemeja a la letra “y” que en quechua es el “Tanka”. Entre los dos extremos cruza un alambre en el que se encuentran insertadas varias hojas de lata que generan sonidos propios del metal. La sonaja es acompañada por el violín y el arpa que armonizan incesantemente durante la fiesta del cargo.
Un verso que de manera directa refleja el sentimiento indígena frente a la dominación y que se canta en el Takanakuy es el siguiente:
Original en quechua
Con el chileno o con el peruano
estaré siempre enfrentándome,
chaypaqsi mamay wachakuwasqa
para eso mi madre me trajo a este mundo
con pies y manos;
wayliya, waylihiya, wayliya.
wayliya, waylihiya, wayliya
Estas letras encarnan una posición neutra, ni de peruano ni de chileno; sino, una posición etnocentrista “indígena”, al margen de las formalidades y esquemas peruano - occidentales. En consecuencia, el campesino indígena actualmente no se siente identificado con el país. Al contrario, cree que pertenece a otro país o suyo.
En síntesis, la Guerra del 79 ha maltratado por igual al peruano y al chileno ya que son ellos los que la han sufrido y afrontado obligados, no sé si por defender algo que les pertenecía a ellos o a unos cuantos.
Takanakuy o Wayliya
El Takanakuy es una fiesta tradicional que se celebra en distintas fechas y meses dentro de la provincia de Chumbivilcas. Comienza el 26 de julio recordando a la virgen de Santa Ana en la comunidad campesina de Ccoyo. Continúa el 08 de diciembre en la comunidad de Mosco y Ccollpa. Luego llega al 25 de diciembre como la fiesta central, que concentra fuerzas y valores juveniles, en Santo Tomás, Llusco y Quiñota, seguido, en año nuevo en las distintas comunidades indígenas de Santo Tomás.
Takanakuy, se refiere al encuentro físico de cuerpo a cuerpo, a puño limpio, sin ninguna regla que impida el uso de atuendos de protección o atuendos de ataque, especialmente en el uso de zapatos. Pueden ser chuzos, botas de mineros con punta acerada u otros más contundentes. Lo único que se prohíbe es el uso de anillos en los dedos.
Motivos por los que se concurre al Takanakuy
Existen varios motivos por los que se concurre y se concretizan en el día del Takanakuy. Así tenemos:
1. Por deporte: Principalmente concurren aquellos jóvenes que quieren demostrar voluntariamente sus habilidades físicas o su valentía, para alcanzar el estatus de ser el “mejor peleador”.
2. Por haber adquirido compromiso antelado por amistad: Vienen a cumplir la promesa o la “palabra” empeñada.
3. Para ventilar públicamente conflictos familiares y/o personales: Asisten para solucionar públicamente conflictos interfamiliares o interpersonales que han sido provocados por dominio de tierras agrícolas, abigeato, discusiones, acontecimientos fortuitos en las borracheras, fiestas de corrida y otros abusos que se ocasionan en la comunidad. Es considerado por la población como una forma de auto-administración pública de justicia.
4. Para delimitar situaciones sentimentales: Quienes coinciden enamorándose de la misma joven lo definen en el Takanakuy de manera pública.
5. Por defender el apellido o al amigo: Estos danzantes salen al encuentro como coteja o sustituto (wiqch’upa) para defender a su pariente o amigo que ha sido vencido en la contienda.
Contenido social del Takanakuy, Maqanakuy, Navidad o Wayliya
En lo Psíquico: Para afrontar las realidades adversas de la vida local y como ser pensante e individuo responsable con la familia y la sociedad el participante hará respetar el honor y el apellido. Fundamentalmente como individuo elevará su nivel de autoestima dentro de la idiosincrasia y la cosmovisión local, adquiriendo un status y ascendencia en la sociedad. Como joven estará en condiciones de contraer matrimonio o tener pareja.
En lo Deportivo: Para el protagonista implica prepararse a diario mediante actividades deportivas y ejercicios físicos como levantar pesas (piedras, cargas, etc.). Como resultado, el participante estará en condiciones atléticas y corporales (salud) que le permitan afrontar al contrincante.
En lo Familiar: Es importante para la familia que el hijo varón desde pequeño se esté adiestrando, de tal manera hará que la familia y el apellido sean respetados y considerados como ejemplo. Si éste triunfa en la pelea será motivo de halago, celebraciones y sobretodo significará un acto de honor, lo que elevará el nivel de autoestima familiar. El ser qhari (hombre) significa que será ejemplo tanto en el aspecto productivo, social y político dentro del proceso organizativo de la comunidad.
En lo Grupal o Social: Para el grupo étnico o ayllu al que pertenece el participante será estimado como el hijo preferido, admirado e imitado por la población infantil y los adolescentes de la localidad. Será él que comande el orden local, siendo muchas veces el preferido para ocupar los cargos de rondero o de disciplina comunal en el manejo de conflictos territoriales o familiares.
En la parte sentimental, generalmente, será el más preferido por las mujeres jóvenes. Por la naturaleza de la zona una joven prefiere a un individuo que la haga respetar y sentir segura en su comunidad.
Como parte de la autoafirmación cultural del pueblo: Cada grupo que participa de la fiesta Takanakuy se viste con sus mejores atuendos. Incluso las mujeres y varones que regresan de las ciudades optan por auto-imponerse la vestimenta de la zona. En cambio, los danzarines optan por introducir, como parte de su disfraz en la cabeza, símbolos de animales precolombinos, como figuras disecadas de zorros, venados, águilas, halcones, pumas, wallatas, entre otros.
Como instancia pública de administración de justicia social: Desde el punto de vista consuetudinario son formas ancestrales de administrar justicia. Desde la llegada de los castellanos el hecho de recurrir ante una autoridad judicial “letrada”, Juez o un Subprefecto implica costos en tiempo y economía, generando esperanzas nada confiables en los resultados porque la justicia -en la Colonia, la República y actualmente- siempre ha sido administrada por los mistis. El Takanakuy, muchas veces, se inicia y termina entre abrazos. En suma, es aquello que se traslada de la justicia de leyes a la justicia social.
En el aspecto productivo: Generalmente participa el que quiere destacar en la producción agrícola y ganadera, en el trabajo independiente o cuando viaja temporalmente a trabajar a las minas. Se dedica mejor a la familia como productor concreto, trae la “estabilidad económica a la familia”, porque, de manera subjetiva está el ser “triunfador”, “hombre ejemplo “para los demás.
En el ser Triunfador: Estará siempre dispuesto a seguir triunfando en disputas futuras. A él lo llevarán a diferentes lugares del Takanakuy, muchas veces de wiqch’upa y será recibido con admiración entre los danzarines; pero mostrando siempre un perfil bajo, es decir, siempre mostrará su humildad. Pero, cuando haya algún desafío será el primero en saltar a la cancha, incluso, en algunos casos, será el que salga de voluntario “para cualquiera”, esto dependiendo del lugar, porque, puede haber también otros mejores que él.
En situación de Perdedor: Anímicamente nunca está perdido. Siempre tiene la mentalidad de triunfar al siguiente año.
Como catarsis colectiva: El público u observador es el que anima a uno y otro durante la pelea, disfruta y lo vive. El observador toma una posición de crítico, es el que dice: ¡Más puñete, más patada, con el derecho, con el izquierdo, de abajo, de arriba! etc. En otras palabras, es el experto momentáneo, como todo público de reyertas deportivas.
Durante la fiesta el populacho goza y es el momento de la catarsis social. Se olvidan de los problemas económicos de la casa, por el momento son libres de todo acto, se desfogan al escuchar el ritmo de la Wayliya, al ver a los tropeles de danzantes, se transforman en seres extravagantes al ver las peleas que intercambian patadas y puñetes al medio del ruedo.
El respeto a la “palabra” como persona: Para el campesino indígena, por encima de cualquier responsabilidad, está el empeño de la “palabra”. Es decir, si una persona compromete o queda en un “pacto” lo que está en juicio es la “palabra”. Por esto, muchos van al Takanakuy a cumplir su “palabra, su compromiso”. Obviamente, esto se da en diferentes niveles de la actividad comunal.
Para comunicarse con el autor o mayor información sobre el tema dirigirse al correo electrónico:
Takanakuy, "Cuando la sangre hierve". Una catarsis violenta de la Navidad…
Una violenta tradición indígena de los Andes peruanos que tiene su culminación cada 25 de diciembre: "Takanakuy, se refiere al encuentro físico de cuerpo a cuerpo, a puño limpio, sin ninguna regla que impida el uso de atuendos de protección …
Trackbacks de meneame.net — 22 Diciembre 2007 @ 6:10
Importante tradición que concientemente cada profesional andino debe enfocar al mundo “moderno” o “globalización”, permite en ello impulsar la identidad cultural, la vida mismo de los pueblos que las instituciones estatales cada vez olvidan; no hay riqueza cultural, vida social y diversidad u otra que permita a los peruanos unirnos, que a través de la educación hagamos integración, valores ansestrales, y que estos formen un hombre de conciencia para ocuparse de manera real en resolver problemas internos de nuestro país, profesionales que dirijan insituciones que respondan a la necesidad de cada uno de los pueblos mas alejados de la capital, centralista y tranculturizador.
Aun el sector educación no responde a las demandas populares, los tecnicos la diseñan, proponen y los Directores la borran.
Es mi opinión: Lic. Victor Vilcabana Sánchez Docente EIB. Pullana yarpushunllapa.
Comentario de Victor Vilcabana Sánchez — 23 Diciembre 2007 @ 22:23
Fighting arena, fighters dancing, note the masks.
Music for the event. Notice the masks & costumes.
Reply #30 on:
May 03, 2008, 06:31:05 AM »
Peru's Born-Again Free Marketeer
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY
May 3, 2008; Page A9
'Knock on the door," a solider standing guard in front of Peru's Government Palace says when I tell him I have an interview with President Alan García. I gaze up at the massive wooden portal – the perfect entry for the palace's 6-foot-5-inch resident or even someone twice that size – and do as I'm told.
A small wicket in the middle of the big door swings open and I give my name. I am admitted and escorted through the famous mirrored "golden salon," modeled on a room at Versailles. At 8:30 on a Saturday morning, the palace is silent. The click of my high-heels on the marble floor echoes under the vaulted ceiling. We reach another smaller chamber; coffee is served.
The Peruvian economy is doing well these days, but with the world's attention focused on an aspiring dictator in Venezuela, its success has gone relatively unnoticed outside the region. Thus I want to talk to Mr. García and he has agreed to talk to me: A clever and seasoned politician, legendary for his silver-tongued populism, he is now in the business of marketing his country to investors. And why not? With an average growth rate over the past six years of better than 6.2%, the story is a good one. And it is about much more than a boom in mining exports. Peru has blossomed because of competitiveness, something that could not have been imagined a decade ago.
Mr. García led Peru once before, from 1985-1990. That presidency ended in disaster. In July of his last year in office, when his successor Alberto Fujimori was sworn in, the monthly inflation rate was 63%.
Price controls had spawned long lines for food. The government had a fiscal deficit totaling a whopping 7.5% of GDP. The economy contracted 8.8% in 1988 and 12.2% in 1989. Meanwhile, Shining Path terrorists dominated the countryside, making life miserable for the peasant population, unattractive to foreign investors and impossible for tourism.
Mr. García left office in shame and, hounded by corruption charges, fled in 1992 to live in exile in Colombia. Upon his return nine years later, he lost a bid for the presidency against Alejandro Toledo.
In 2006, he ran again and won in a run-off against a hard-left populist who was promising to replicate Chávez-style government in Peru. His victory was owed in part to the many Peruvians who, despite bitter memories of his disastrous administration, held their noses and voted for him just to avoid the horror of chavismo. Then they braced themselves for life again under the man known as "crazy horse."
So far not only have their fears not materialized but something truly unexpected has happened instead: Mr. García now speaks the language of a born-again economic liberal and defends markets as a way to reduce poverty. Whether the conversion is authentic is a matter of much debate in Peru these days. What I can say for sure, after a 70-minute interview, is that he firmly grasps the principles behind the arguments he now professes to believe.
Peruvian growth is often assumed to be about the mining sector – copper, gold and the like. But Peruvians are discovering their comparative advantages in niche markets around the world in a host of other sectors, including manufacturing, apparel and agriculture. A visitor to Lima immediately appreciates vast improvements in services compared to even a half-decade ago.
How has all this come to pass? "I think the essential change is in the commercial economic model of Peru," he says. The country "has decided to insert itself in the global economy, open its borders to investment, lower tariffs [and] guarantee fiscal and monetary stability. I think this, sustained for more than 10 years now, is bearing fruit."
Mr. García also recognizes the fact that many of his neighbors are not courting investors, making his country a beneficiary of their bad attitudes. "Peru looks like the country [in the region] most favorable to modernization," generating a level of investment "that is extraordinary." The country has had "an important rate of growth in the past three years, from 6% annually to almost 8% and then 9%. We expect to maintain, this year, the highest growth rate and the lowest level of inflation in South America."
For a country defined by decades of poverty and violence, this borders on the miraculous. But what may be more amazing is that the region's most notorious left-wing populist of the 1980s now champions free enterprise. Even Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez never wrote such a surreal tale. I ask the president to explain his epiphany.
The question produces a burst of laughter that seems to contain at least a kernel of irritation, but if so it fades quickly. He immediately goes to the heart of the issue. "First, more than reading, one has to see the reality and this reality is what has changed." For the president, that reality is all about the birth of the microchip. "Twenty-five years ago the world was divided in two," he says "and what did not exist was the extraordinary revolution in communication and information, which is the basis of all the change in the world economy now and of the change in our ideas. The Internet, electronic money, the economic opening of trade without borders," this is what's driven the shift in thinking. "This new reality demands that we not oppose the wave of globalization but take advantage of it in favor of society."
More shocking for those who remember the old Alan García is his newly espoused faith in the private sector as an engine of human progress. "I have an enthusiastic and hopeful perspective that we are beginning a new economic phase of the economy, like in 1750 with the steam engine. We are beginning a totally different chapter in economics. The world is linked and there is a growing democratization through participation by consumers and producers.
"At the same time there is the process of individualization of decisions, communications that makes humanity more free. Just like when Cho En Lai was asked if he judged the French Revolution a success and he said, 'It's too early to tell,' I think we are in the first years of something that may take centuries to evaluate." Government's role, in Mr. García's opinion, is "to persuade the people – this is its role as a leader – to be open to all the possibilities of . . . investment and, with this, to decentralize economic activity and thereby create more employment."
Still, his critics in Lima say that he has yet to prove his mettle by pushing through the next phase of reforms. Businesses still toil under a massive regulatory and tax burden; and Peru particularly needs labor reform that will lower the cost of hiring and firing workers. This will require cuts in payroll taxes and in severance obligations of companies when workers are let go.
Mr. García agrees that labor regulation is a drag on businesses and has no trouble diagnosing the problem: "We no longer live in a closed economy with protection. It is an economy of competition and speed. And therefore the businesses are destined to be born, live and die because any company can enter a market and displace others. In this sense, businesses are condemned to instability. As a consequence we cannot continue with concepts that come from another time and another situation."
Instability, he says, is particularly a problem for services and low-tech manufacturing businesses that face stiff competition from around the globe. But he also notes that the problem makes life difficult for Peruvian workers. "We need a reform that formalizes the masses – some 70% of Peruvians workers – who work in the informal sector and have no rights, as well as the businesses which are not legal and don't pay taxes."
For decades politicians around the region have looked at different ways to reduce the size of the underground economy. Most see the answer as more law enforcement; Mr. García seems to favor incentives. Rather than hiring an army of tax and labor inspectors to force compliance, he recognizes that the rules of the game have to be changed. He says Peru has to lower the cost of being in the formal sector if it wants to "increase its internal saving capacity through the pension funds and increase its ability to offer health care to Peruvians." Without such changes, the country will be stuck with "informality," what the president calls "the slavery of the 21st century."
Opponents of labor reform, he says, include workers in the formal sector who want to protect their privileges enshrined in regulation, and businesses that dread the organizing power of legal workers. But Mr. García says that the 70% who don't have formal-sector jobs will be liberated from the slavery if the reform that he is working on is passed by the Peruvian Congress. It is a "pro-jobs" reform, he insists, more than a labor reform.
Meaningful labor reform would go a long way toward erasing his past sins, and maybe even secure his legacy. But much will depend on what happens to the inflation rate, which has been heading north of late. Poor Peruvians, particularly in the mountainous area of the country which favored his opponent in the run-off election, have been demonstrating in the streets against rising food prices. Mr. García blames this on rising global demand for rice, "the disastrous ethanol program" and the fact that the country grows no wheat and has to import it all from abroad.
Just to be provocative, I ponder aloud whether price controls wouldn't be a good way to help the poor. He snickers and then shoots back: "Price controls are my enemy." Instead, he says, the answer to rising prices is to increase the productive capacity of Peru. That's not a bad course of action, though it will take some time. What would be better is to let the "sol" appreciate. Regrettably, the central bank is loath to do that because it believes it will make exporters less competitive, a view that has led many a government into trouble.
President García wants the world to know that he is a born-again believer in the connection between liberty and human progress. And as a world-class orator, he has no trouble laying out the case. But Peruvians once bitten are thrice shy, and they are not so eager to bless his conversion. The key, it would seem, to ending the debate and rewriting the history books that will tell of his heroic leadership is to put his vision into action. No wonder all eyes are on this former populist's attempts to tackle the difficult issue of labor reform.
He certainly packs the optimism necessary for the job; he has no time for the doom-and-gloom set. "When they say that the world is threatened by immigration, poverty, destruction of the environment and concentration of monopolies, I laugh. I have complete faith in human intelligence and technology to overcome any obstacle, geographic or social."
Ms. O'Grady writes the Americas column for The Wall Street Journal.
Reply #31 on:
May 05, 2008, 07:47:49 AM »
Uno mas en inlges:
Peru Takes the Other Path
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY
May 5, 2008; Page A13
It's about 90 minutes flying time from Lima to this jungle metropolis of 400,000. But daily life here is light years away from what it is in the Peruvian capital.
After almost two decades of gradual reforms by the central government, Lima is today home to first-world services, globally competitive businesses, shopping malls and an emerging middle class. But here in the hub of the Peruvian Amazon, living standards are all too similar to what they were 30 years ago.
WSJ Americas columnist Mary Anastasia O'Grady says although the Peruvian economy is experiencing growth, it's not uniform throughout the country. She speaks with Kelsey Hubbard about the struggle between modernity and atavistic socialism. (May 2)
The differences between the two cities illustrate one of the biggest challenges for the government of President Alan García, who was once a renowned socialist but now says he embraces democratic capitalism.
Peru has been experiencing fast growth – better than 6% annually – for almost seven years, and it has largely occurred on the coast and in the capital city. But the mountain and jungle regions of the country have not kept up. They remain vulnerable to the siren song of left-wing populism.
This is what makes Peru ground zero in the continental struggle between modernity and atavistic socialism. Hugo Chávez is circling like a vulture in the poorer parts of the county, hoping to pick off a prized Andean nation to add to his collection of revolutionary allies in South America. Meanwhile, reformers are trying to push ahead with deeper liberalization.
The good news is that the white hats have the momentum. If it is true that remote locations like this city are vulnerable to ideological incursions from the authoritarian left, it is also true that much of the rest of the country is beginning to think and act more like Chilean entrepreneurs than Cuban apparatchiks. Understanding why is critical to further progress.
A fundamental change that has won converts to market reforms in the past two decades is price stability. In 1990, inflation reached 7,000%, but over the past six years it has averaged 2.3%. That means that even before any other changes in government policy, every Peruvian has enjoyed a tax cut and a boost to his savings power.
Yet price stability on its own would have left the country well below its potential. Far more impressive is the restructuring of the economy, which has led both to growth and to a more equal distribution of opportunity. While a boom in commodity prices has certainly fueled development of late, Peru is also sprouting entrepreneurs in a variety of nontraditional industries. And these innovators are making their way onto the global stage.
THE AMERICAS IN THE NEWS
Get the latest information in Spanish from The Wall Street Journal's Americas page.The key reform that has made all this possible is the opening of the economy, which until 1990 had very high tariffs designed to protect local industries.
Peruvian journalist Jaime Althaus documents the effects of the opening in his 2007 book (Spanish only) titled "The Capitalist Revolution in Peru." Far from "deindustrializing" the country, Mr. Althaus argues, trade liberalization has strengthened Peruvian manufacturing. Under high tariffs, the industrial sector served mainly as an auto and electronics assembler, using inputs from abroad. But when protection ended, local manufacturing began to discover its comparative advantages.
There were plenty. High growth rates – averaging 11% a year from 1990-2002 – have occurred in sectors that make china, porcelain, knitted fabrics, plastic products and basic chemicals, to mention a few.
The story of the "cluster" of small metallurgical companies that has emerged in Lima is especially compelling. In recent years, these entrepreneurs have been competitive in bidding for work that was previously dominated by important international firms. They have also become exporting powerhouses.
The agricultural sector on the coast has also revived, in part because private-property rights there (though not in the interior) have replaced the collectivized system of the 1970s. As a result, investment has poured in. Modern farming has put the coast on the map as a global supplier of asparagus, grapes, sweet yellow onions, mangos and organic bananas. All of this has been supported by the deregulation and privatization of key sectors like telecom and banking. And the biggest beneficiaries of openness have been consumers.
So what's the matter with Iquitos? It is not, as you might think, the fact that it is so isolated. Mr. García told me that he believes the real problem is that its most valuable resources – mahogany and cedar – grow on land that has no property rights. There are some long-term concessions, but he says he would like to see many more so that those who harvest the wood have the proper incentives to care for the forests.
See what I mean about the change in thinking? Now if only the president will seize the day, the chavistas from Caracas might begin to look like no more than footnotes in Peruvian history.
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