Blogging the Week in Peru

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These past few days, apart from the appointments of new government employees, it has been President Garcia's dogged persistence in fulfilling some of his campaign promises that has been making noise in the political section of the media. Perú Político deals with the topic in its customary weekly review: Weekly Chronicle (August 9-15). Their announcement (ES) of how they will be covering the upcoming regional and municipal elections throughout the country is also interesting. Let's hope that there are many participants.

Not all is well in the media however. In Zona de Noticias, a blog generally dedicated to literature, they echo the denouncement of a journalist in a Lima newspaper about the alleged misuse of power by certain media outlets that, in this case, became disinformation: Alberto Adrianzén: “Expreso y Correo promueven la sospecha y la soplonería”.

Switching to economics, a difference of criteria when it comes to tackling the subject of taxation of extra earnings by large foreign companies in the country is what Gran Combo Club presents in the post Falta de lógica económica. (Lack of Economic Logic):

¿Por qué el estado debe controlar un recurso “estratégico” como la energía? La historia de este tipo de razonamiento parece estar vinculada con las privatizaciones y compra de empresas antes estatales por capitales extranjeros, en particular de países como Chile, con el cual tenemos sentimientos de desconfianza. No sea que una vez que controlen económicamente nuestro salitre, ya no podamos ponerles impuestos y si lo hacemos invadan Lima. A partir de este razonamiento se justifica la intervención estatal y, curiosamente, esta justificación se hace en nombre de los más pobres, cosa que no es para nada cierta. Se está utilizando a los más pobres para justificar otra cosa….. Y si el tema es geopolítico, tendremos que ponernos a pensar qué tipo de relación queremos con nuestro vecino: ¿Cómo ganamos y perdemos más? ¿Con una política de cooperación o con una política de confrontación? ¿Conviene al país distraer recursos que pueden ser empleados en el crecimiento económico en una carrera armamentista?

Why must the state control a “strategic” resource like energy? The history of this type of reasoning seems to be tied to privatizations and the purchase of what had been state companies by foreign capital; in particular with countries like Chile, with which we have feelings of distrust. It's not that once they economically control our salt flats, we will no longer be able to impose taxes and if we do, Chile will invade Lima. From this reasoning they try to justify state intervention and, peculiarly, this justification is made in the name of poorest, something which isn't at all true. It is being applied to poorest in order to justify something else … And if the subject is geopolitical, we will have to thinkabout what type of relationship we want with our neighbor: How do we gain and lose more? With a policy of cooperation or a policy of confrontation? Does it benefit the country to deprive resources that can be used in economic growth for an armament race?

Both points of view have their pros and cons of course. What is not an opinion, but rather established fact, is what Economía Petrolera (Petrol Economy) informs us in the post GLP, Calidad de vida y Pobreza (“GLP, Quality of life and Poverty”). In reading the post it becomes evident that, although this indicative statistic has improved, there is still much left to do.

El censo desarrollado el 2005 por el INEI nos trajo como resultado que un 50.6% de los hogares peruanos utilizan GLP para cocinar, cifra más que importante para la mejora de la calidad de vida en nuestro país. Representa un crecimiento de 7.3 puntos porcentuales al compararse con los resultados de la Encuesta Nacional de Hogares (ENAHO), del IV Trimestre del 2001. En el caso del Kerosene, igualmente es importante señalar que se reporta que sólo un 6.5% de los hogares lo utilizó el año 2005 para cocinar. Por el lado del consumo de leña para cocinar igualmente se reporta una disminución de 8.4 puntos porcentuales bajando de 41.0 a 32.6% en los últimos 4 años.

The census developed in 2005 by the National Institute of Statistics and Computing (INEI) tells us that 50.6% of the Peruvian homes use liquefied natural gas (GLP) to cook, an important statistic for the improvement of the quality of life in our country. It represents a growth of 7.3 percentage points when compared to the results of the National Survey of Households (ENAHO) by the IV Trimester of 2001. In the case of Kerosene, it is equally important to indicate that that only 6.5% of homes are reported to have used it in 2005 to cook. Regarding the consumption of firewood for cooking marks a decrease of 8.4 percentage points falling from 41.0 to 32,6% as reported in the last 4 years.

Another indicator of the quality level of life is education and this could be the generation of creating our own software. Tinta Fantasma describes how in Linedux, una distro peruana para la educación (“Linedux, a Peruvian distro for education”), about a distribution of Linux made in Peru and oriented towards education.

One topic related to our cultural patrimony was picked up by the blog Ciencia (“Science”) in the post Corona recuperada (“Corona recovered”), about the crown of the pre-Hispanic culture Moche, that was illegally unearthed, stolen, removed from the country and now recovered in a police plot. The post is in English and Spanish.

Not long ago another anniversary of the city of Arequipa was celebrated, and in a related note, Explorando Perú, a blog dedicated to chronicles of traveling through Peru, posted about the Cañón del Colca, one of our regions with greatest tourist attraction, in Cañonazos de altura (“Cannon shots at altitude”).

Los encantos del Colca son abundantes. Casas de piedra en Sibayo, extrañas formaciones rocosas en El Castillo de Callalli, iglesias magníficas en Yanque, Maca y Lari; retos de balsas y remos en un río poderoso, pedaleo o trekking intenso en los caminos de herradura que serpentean en las montañas; en fin, historia, magia y aventura al borde de la profundidad.

The charms of Colca are abundant. Stone houses in Sibayo, strange rocky formations in the Castle of Callalli, magnificent churches in Yanque, Maca and Lari; raft races in a powerful river, pedaling or trekking on roads that wind through the mountains; in short, history, magic and adventure at the edge of the abyss.

Another one of our tourist attractions is, undoubtedly, the food, and the blogger at El Urbanito (“The Urbanite”), in his personnel, self-assured, and sometimes irreverent style, posts about a dish that, from its humble origins, has been winning favor to now occupy an important place in any review of Peruvian food. The title of post says it all: Oda al Tacu Tacu (“Ode to the Tacu Tacu”).

… Más una visita a Otani es incompleta si no se acepta desafiar a un tacu tacu entero relleno con salsa de mariscos bañado en salsa de tamarindo. Para empezar, acometer semejante reto requiere -además de un estómago competente y de amplia capacidad- una preparación especial para no desmayar en el intento y acabar hasta el último vestigio del plato. Los mesurados pueden pedir una porción personal con la cual se sentirán más que satisfechos. Pero los amantes de las emociones extremas y las sensaciones placenteras deben acometer el full size.

… Plus, a visit to Otani is incomplete without trying whole tacu tacu stuffed with shellfish and bathed in tamarind sauce. To begin, undertake the required challenge – in addition to a competent stomach and ample capacity – a special preparation to not faint in the attempt and to finish until the last trace of the dish. The moderates can request a personal portion and feel more than satisfied. But lovers of the extreme emotions and pleasant sensations must undertake the full size.

From food let's go to football, that is, using a common phrase, the “passion of multitudes”. El Mundo redondo de Kike Giles is a new blog that deals with this sport and which, in the post La Chilena es Peruana (“The Chilean is Peruvian”), explains to us the origins of this move that is known by most of the world as “Chilena” and in our country as “Chalaca”.

But to many of us soccer does not get us passionate but rather fills us with rage. For them, I have selected this post from the blog La tv que me alimenta (“It's TV That Nourishes Me”): El humor peruano también está en YouTube (“Peruvian humor also is on YouTube”), and that the title doesn't explain itself, I will say that it includes links to two sites that compile videos of humor programs from Peruvian TV, with its defects and virtues.

To finish I want to make special mention of the blog Jóvenes de la Asociación Peruano China (APCH) (“Youths of Chinese Peruvian Association”), which collects data and information about that special mixture of two cultures that arose when the first Chinese immigrants arrived at our coasts, causing Chinese culture to now be an integral part of many aspects of what is considered Peruvian;, of which the most renowned is the popular “Chifa“. I won't specify any particular post but rather recommend that you visit and explore the blog, and will therefore have an idea of what I'm trying to say. A human group has exposed itself, not wanting to lose any of its cultural hertiage and continue to make new fusions in the most varied of senses.

With that said I bid adieu until the next week. With your permission …

Translation by David Sasaki

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