Top News from Peru

Top News from Peru: August 23-29


Amidst increased crime, Peru’s congress proposes tougher laws

An increase in Peru’s level of crime in many cities has frightened citizens and led to another set of anti-crime laws to be passed by Congress.  Statistics give evidence that crime is on the rise, especially in cities that are experiencing economic growth, such as Trujillo.  According to NGO Ciudad Nuestra, Peru’s homicide rate is currently 10.9 per 100,000 residents- not as violent as São Paulo or Caracas but still alarming.  Official data states that 442 crimes are committed each day in Peru. This figure includes 168 thefts and eight homicides.  There has been talk of the military becoming involved, if not in the streets then possibly in regards to infrastructure and logistics.

One new law would focus on traffickers of stolen goods and also include a huge educational campaign to encourage citizen not to purchase items in the local black markets.  Other proposals would focus on modifying current laws

Project in Peru sends prenatal advice to women via cell phones

One of the winners of the Mobile Citizen Contest sponsored by the Inter American Development was a project called Wawanet that will send prenatal advice through text messages to some 5,000 pregnant women in Callao, Peru. The project seeks to utilize the high percentage of cell phone users in urban areas in order to improve health and quality of life for pregnant women.  The long term goal is to expand the project nationwide if it is successful.

Farmers responsible for Peru forest fire may be punished, authorities say

Hundreds of acres of forest in Oxapampa have been consumed by a raging forest fire spurred on by the presence of shrub called yarahua, which contains a type of quick burning oil.  Authorities have identified the four farmers they say are responsible. Apparently it is normal for these farmers to burn the recently harvested fields before sowing again. However, they may receive punishment with jail time. According to Julio Guzman, attorney for the Ministry of Environment, “This time the ministry wants to set a precedent. [The farmers] may be sanctioned to effective imprisonment of between five and eight years,” said Guzman.


The people of Vice mobilize in defense of mangrove

On August 31, the people, grassroots organizations and authorities of the Vice district will participate in a peaceful march to Piura in protest of the company Olympic Inc which has settled into a conservation area in order to exploit it for hydrocarbons. A dirt road through the conservation area and mangrove on behalf of Olympic Inc was recently approved, but the people consider this area to be a legacy to future generations and want to march to protect it. According to the mayor, people are only protesting the road because it is harmful to the mangrove, and not because they are opposed to the activities themselves.

Members of the Landless Peasants Association march to protest a resolution evicting them

Around 500 members of the Landless Peasants Association from the Marcavelica district reached the front of the court in Sullana in a protest against a resolution that will kick them off the land they currently occupy. According to the protesters, the judge should take into consideration the nearly ten years they have been farming the 600 hectares for organic bananas and the investment of $12 million they put into the land. The peasants say they have earned their right to the land that was abandoned when they came across it, but that they made productive. The court’s reason for evicting them is aggravated theft, but this article doesn’t provide any further details.

Talara lacks a culture of hygiene

After conducting a workshop called “The improvement and expansion of the integrated management of solid waste” in Talara, technicians concluded that Talara does not a have culture of hygiene because the citizens throw garbage everywhere and do not handle waste well. It was concluded that people are not educated on the proper handling of waste. The workshop included a presentation explaining the new land fill that Talara will have, in order to educate the population.


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