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My Peru: All of us or all of us

In this sense we must, once the waters have reached a level of tense calm, do everything possible to build the necessary bridges to reach real agreements. We need to ensure that these agreements become commitments that are fulfilled, so that it is evident that we all walk toward the same direction. 

After several months of watching Peru bleed, it is time to admit that, whether we like it or not, in this crisis we all share the responsibility. Although we want to cover our eyes and say "I don't"...

 

This line of thinking has also contributed to the horrifying show we have seen in recent weeks on the screens of our television or even in real life. From within the country there are calls to an insurrection. Calls that feed frustration and resentment, due to the notable differences between the big city, Lima, and the country's provinces, or simply the outskirts of the capital, which by the way have been going on for many years...

 

We can debate day and night about corruption in regional governments, and that many of the regions with the highest poverty levels are also the ones that receive the most mining royalties. They have full coffers! All of it is totally true, but understanding this does not feed the Peruvians who feel abandoned to their fate. Development and progress eludes them and suddenly they see the president who "best" represented them (Pedro Castillo) being arrested on national television after attempting a completely unconstitutional coup to avoid being impeached by the congress for corruption.

 

This in no way justifies the violence and destruction of public and private property, but it should lead us to a reflection on how much we know in the capital about their reality, and how much they know about ours. We must aim at the origin of such violence and the motivations behind it that burn like a forest fire as the call to the protests has shown.

 

Moreover, I repeat that we cannot be blind to the enormous responsibility of the politicians who run the central government, the regional governments, and obviously the congress, whose egotism, corruption and incapacity, despite having the resources that would allow a considerable improvement in the living conditions of millions of Peruvians and a sustainable growth of the country, has created the ideal conditions for the disaster that we are living today. It was only a matter of time. The fuse has been lit for decades...

 

Now, the easy way out is to demand that the armed forces use their full capacity (as duly authorized by the constitution) to stop the disturbances and calm the waters again, but the truth is, that in the middle of the violence and the vandalism, which has inciters who take advantage of the situation, such as drug trafficking, illegal mining, illegal logging, illegal trafficking of people, etc., there are also Peruvian men and women with legitimate motivations, who become collateral damage of a non- existent dialogue.

 

In this sense we must, once the waters have reached a level of tense calm, do everything possible to build the necessary bridges to reach real agreements. We need to ensure that these agreements become commitments that are fulfilled, so that it is evident that we all walk toward the same direction. It should become clear that those of us who live in the capital are not the enemy, but that we want to be part of the solution. Is it so difficult to develop the necessary infrastructure so that the forgotten villages get paved access, water, sewage, electricity, basic medical services, balanced nutrition, education, etc.?

 

Definitely not.

 

Without a doubt this situation too shall pass. However, we must take the reins and truly commit , so that development reaches everyone equally. This does not mean that we should be handing out money like candy , but that clear rules are set, where the shenanigans and deals under the table are reported and punished without mercy, even if they come from our own unions or industries. Let us not forget that the reason there are corrupt state institutions or officials, it is because the funds to carry out such a despicable activity come from private companies...

 

The disastrous political handling by the government during the start of this crisis deserves to be addressed as well. There was a small window during which a dialogue could have been attempted, but they chose to ignore what was happening and minimized it. Let's hope there is a clear lesson learned for the next executives and legislators who will lead the future of the country. You cannot throw gasoline on the fire and expect the flames not to light.

 

In the same way, we cannot build a country upon a divided base: it is not about "them" or "us", but about "all of us” . There is no other way. And we are all part of the problem that led us to this critical situation. We must change the discourse, stop looking at our belly buttons, stop talking about the famous "we have to’s" and start rebuilding Peru, each one of us within our sphere of possibilities.

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15 february, 2023

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