Department of Unintentional Truth-Telling
Bankers talk tough while they hide behind their mommy

Something that most English-language media somehow missed

This week massive Peruvian strikes and protests shut down Peruvian cities and put pressure on President García to reconsider Peru's pending trade agreement with the U.S.

According to IPS News,

The people who are protesting are desperate because the economy is growing but nothing in their lives has improved. Their demands will continue until wealth is better distributed," Víctor Gorriti Candela, deputy chief of the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTP), told IPS... 

The first victim of the escalating protests was a 13-year-old girl who was killed during clashes between police and teachers in the southern Andean region of Apurímac...

In a jungle area in the central Andean region of Junín, farmer Alcides Huamaní Rivero was shot to death by the owner of a store where weapons were sold. The owner was trying to prevent a group of protesters from entering his shop. The government Ombudsman's Office reported that eight other people were wounded in the incident.

A teacher died Wednesday night in the Lima hospital that admitted her last Friday. She had been beaten by police, according to spokespersons for the striking teachers...

In the context of the social uprising, about 5,000 strikers occupied the international Manco Cápac airport in Juliaca on Wednesday. They set fire to furniture, office equipment and local workers' houses, in spite of the presence of nearly 300 police who attempted to contain the protesters.

And how did Peruvians find themselves in this mess?

What we are seeing is a movement that is socially and regionally highly diverse, with the common factor that everyone wants to get back what was taken from them in the last 20 years, particularly under Alberto Fujimori's government in the 1990s," political analyst Carlos Reyna, a professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica, told IPS.

In this expert's view, during the Fujimori regime (1990-2000) Peruvian workers lost "much of their buying power" as well as labour rights, owing to the free-market economic model that was applied.

NAFTA expansions to Peru will only make it worse for Peruvians and Americans alike. To strengthen our relationships in Latin America, don't you think that our foreign policy needs to take into account the sentiment of the populations with which we're negotiating?

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Comments

Carlos A. Quiroz

Great post!

I am hopeful now that US Congress postponed debate on the Peru FTA, and perhaps this unfair agreement will never be approved before the 2008 elections.

While the US media hasn't covered these events in Peru --I'm not surprised at all, the media of Peru which is based totally in Lima, has described these protests as not representative of what the majority of Peruvians wants and thinks. They have insulted with arrogance the thousands of Peruvian citizens marching peacefully in the streets and fields, and the government has responded with violence and repression.

During Alejandor Toledo's administration and the first year of Alan Garcia in power, Peruvian media and the goverment have been promoting an image that everything is going peachy with the economy in Peru, telling everyone that we are growing every day and that foreign investors are coming to the country as never before.

The true of the matter is that most Peruvians don't have access to this economic boom, therefore poverty and social exclusion are worsening. When Peruvian authorities came to the US Congress to promote the FTA, they told US authorities that most Peruvians support the FTA, but that was not true. Most Peruvians, as myself, want this agreement to be renegotiated so free trade can benefit not only a few rich people, but both the majoririty of working class of the US and Peru.

Thanks Public Citizen for informing with independence and honesty about the struggle of Peruvians in times when our own government prefers to work for the interests that go against our future.

Read something I wrote in my blog:
http://peruanista.blogspot.com/2007/07/social-crisis-in-peru.html

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