Peru debates entrance of GM foods
According to the Ministry of Environment (MINAM is the Spanish acronym), the entry of Genetically Modified food into the country is still under debate. One spokesman said that MINAM does not believe that Peru needs GM food because of its rich natural resources. However, the issue continues to be discussed and MINAM says it needs to be carefully explained to the Peruvian people.
Cusco province strikes in protest of Majes project
Reports have been flowing in all week regarding a strike in the Cusco province of Espinar after Peru granted the concession to the Majes Siguas II irrigation project, which residents fear will cut off their water supply. The project will build a dam at the Apurimac River to irrigate 38,500 hectares in Arequipa. Stores, shops and public transportation are all paralyzed in the strike. In the many violent clashes between military men sent by the government and the protesters, one protester has died and 18 have been injured. The strike continues on and protesters say they will not stop until they have access to a direct dialogue with Peru’s highest authorities, who in turn are saying they will not dialogue with the protesters until the strike is lifted.
13.7% of teenagers in Peru are mothers or currently pregnant
The Ministry of Health has released new official figures regarding sexual activity and pregnancy among teenage girls in Peru. Pregnancy rates have gone up from the 2004- 2006 period when only 12.2% of teenagers in Peru were mothers or pregnant. Some of these statistics are:
• 13.7% of teenagers in Peru are already mothers or are currently pregnant
• The average age to start sexual activity is 12 years old
• 87.7% of the teenagers do not use birth control methods
• The highest rates of teen pregnancies take place in the regions of San Martín, Loreto, Ucayali, Cajamarca and Apurímac
• In Lima 10 out of 1,000 teenagers get pregnant between ages 12 and 14
An officer from the Directorate of People’s Health used Peru’s conservatism as an explanation for why young people don’t have access to adequate health education or to birth control. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are working together to address this problem.
Update on topics from last post
Amazon river levels slowly going back to normal in Peru
Although the Amazon is still 31% under normal water levels, the first rains of the season in the Ucayali river basin are improving the situation. Peru’s weather agency, Senamhi, says that the levels will return to normal if the rains continue.
Peru congress repeals controversial amnesty law
Peru’s congress repealed the Legislative Decree 1097 that would have given amnesty to people convicted of human rights violations during Peru’s dirty war that lasted two decades. The law caused controversy for many reasons, including opening the back door to set ex-president Fujimori free, although two massacres occurred while he was in office.
September 13: 5.9 on the Richter scale in the region of Puno, near its border with Cusco
Mock Oil Spill
As part of an environmental protection program, the captain of the port in Talara staged a mock oil spill in coordination with several companies and using liquid from PetroPerú. The simulation maintained that 500 barrels of “crude oil” were released into the sea in order to assess the readiness and operational capabilities of human and material resources in containing a potential oil spill.
72 million soles for sanitation in Paita
The Ministry of Housing and Construction in the town of Paita will contribute over 72 million soles to a project aimed at expanding and improving sanitation in the town. There are already plans in place to improve piping that will affect 40 thousand inhabitants in upper Paita.