The information below is taken from a well-referenced text received from Aline Lambourg, president of Quebracho, and from letters sent by Consuelo, responsible for our centers in Trujillo: we thank both of them for sending them. Some details have been found on the internet.
Political instability and blockages
The political parties are in crisis. There is a great loss of values in the political class. The personal interests of party leaders take precedence over those of the country. They are even less concerned about the poorer classes, who make up the majority of the population.
Over the last few decades, corruption has progressively developed at all levels: in the executive, in parliament, in regional governments, in town halls, etc. The large consortia of national and international companies finance the leaders of the parties best able to favor their interests: at each election, new parties emerge, many of which disappear once the elections are over. The majority of political staff are also insufficiently prepared to occupy the positions sought. Once elected, many forget the promises made to the population, favoring the companies that helped them, by granting them contracts to exploit the country’s wealth over 10, 50 or 100 years, such as for gas, oil, electric power, fishing, ports, forestry exploitation, etc.
During the last electoral process a great polarization of the citizens appeared:
- Pedro Castillo, a left-wing candidate supported by the extreme left, was elected in June 2021 by a very narrow majority (50.12% of the votes), thanks to the majority vote of the Andean population, tired of feeling neglected (education, health, etc.), and also wanting to put an end to the way in which the large consortiums are destroying the environment by exploiting rivers, forests and natural resources for their own benefit.
- The extreme right has received the votes of those who, despite the promises of Pedro Castillo, fear expropriations, the stopping of investment, the flight of capital, the closing of factories, the loss of jobs… simply put, that the country will become a new Cuba or a new Venezuela.
The country gives the impression that it is still in an electoral period: calls for the election of a Constituent Assembly; the vote by Congress to dismiss several ministers; the wish of members of Congress to gather a majority to vote for the dismissal of the president, as has happened several times in the past. This opposition between the legislative (Congress of Deputies) and the executive (President, Prime Minister and Government) creates an unstable situation
A political context that is therefore not conducive to solving the country’s concrete problems
- Precarious health situation
The Delta variant remains in the majority, Omicron is progressing. 80% of people aged above 11 years old have received the first two doses of vaccine; the third dose of the vaccine has started to be given to carers and elderly. Curfews, gauge and other restrictions are back in place in the most affected areas.
- Difficult exit from the economic and social crisis caused by the pandemic
An economic recovery has begun, but in a socially very degraded context : price increases aggravating the food crisis from which a third of the population, living below the poverty line (under $100 per month), is suffering; thousands of families forced to attend soup kitchens, whose number has exploded; lack of jobs due to the bankruptcy of many small businesses during the confinement. And in the face of this, political blockages prevent the country from being governed in a way that meets the needs of the population.
- Schooling undermined
90% of schools closed (pupils supposed to follow lessons online, but 60% of homes without internet connection, 95% even in rural areas); many children and teenagers dropping out of school (serious consequences in terms of learning, well-being and mental health for children and teenagers); reopening not planned before the end of March, with increased autonomy of schools (risk of inequality between city centers and peripheries). Additional problem: recruiting teachers, many of whom have left the profession.
- Increased insecurity and violence
Spectacular increase in extortion and murders perpetrated in broad daylight by hired killers; Rosario (Consuelo’s sister) confirms this: you should only go out at certain times and carry nothing with you, no money, no valuable objects!