Peru: Post-Quake Chaos

The recent devasting earthquake that struck Peru brought out a wave of activity among Peruvian bloggers. Some wrote and documented what they felt when the seismic activity struck, while others sought to inform fellow Peruvians protecting them from false information. However, many more responded by calling for solidarity through information campaigns regarding ways to help.

Now that several days have passed, these same bloggers reflect upon the government response and some of the worrisome occurrences in their country.

Pueblo Vruto [ES] is troubled by the actions of some, who have tried to advantage during this time of crisis.

Es triste ver que ciertas personas buscan aprovecharse del dolor ajeno. No hablemos de los comerciantes o empresarios inescrupulosos que suben exageradamente sus precios … Hablemos de los “anónimos” (porque suelen usar nombres falsos) que se hacen pasar por funcionarios del gobierno, o miembros o “colaboradores” de instituciones como Defensa Civil, la Cruz Roja, la iglesia, etc., para pedir aportes monetarios. No solamente aprovechan los “tiempos de calma” montando colectas falsas o fingiendo ser mendigos, sino que aprovechan los llamados a la solidaridad para pescar en río revuelto.

It is sad to see certain individuals that look to take advantage of the pain of others. We are not talking about the vendors or unscrupulous businesspersons that drastically raise prices …We are talking about the “anonymous” (because they often use false names) that pass themselves off as government officials, or members or “collaborators” of institutions like the Civil Defense, the Red Cross, the Church, etc. to ask for monetary contributions. Not only do they take advantage during “times of calm” by falsely asking for donations or acting as beggars, but they also take advantage of the calls of solidarity by working during these troubled times.

Gran Combo Club [ES] writes about some news received from a friend from a relative in the affected city of Ica.

Me acaba de llamar una amiga y me dijo que la llamó un pariente de Ica, en donde la situación es terrible. Todavía no tienen agua ni luz y que temprano cierran todo, hasta las farmacias. Además le contó que cuando fue Alan llevaron carpas al estadio y cuando se fue las carpas ya no estaban. Parece que las van paseando de un lado al otro.

A friend of mine called and told me that she received a call from a relative in Ica, where the situation is terrible. They still do not have neither water, nor electricity and that they close everything early, even the pharmacies. The relative also told her that (President) Alan (Garcia) took tents to the stadium, and that when he went back they were no longer there. It appears that they are taking them from one place to another.

C.J. Schexnayder of Andean Currents writes that there reports of looting in the cities most affected and that the government sought to respond:

Government officials were scrambling to restore order as hungry survivors and street criminals ransacked markets and aid trucks. President Alan Garcia ordered thousands of solders into the region to restore order in the city and along the highway from Lima.

Tan sólo unas burbujas [ES] writes about the looting that took place.

Cuando escribí este post aún no empezaban los saqueos de mercados y camiones que hemos visto hoy en las zonas del desastre: gente desesperada porque ve que llega ayuda internacional en aviones y ellos siguen sin agua ni ayuda. Cierto que ciertos malos elementos se aprovechan, pero no creo que toooooda esa gente sean pandilleros, como insinuó alguien por allí.

When I wrote this post, the looting of the markets and trucks had not yet taken place. We have seen in the disaster zone: desperate people that see international aid arriving in planes, yet they still remain without water or help. Certainly there exist groups that take advantage of the situation, but I don't think that all of those people are gangmembers, such as some have insinuated.

Finally, Pospost [ES] returns with some hopeful news amidst the stories of disorganization and chaos.

La vida se ha abierto paso en Pisco. Dos días después del violento terremoto que azotó esa ciudad y dejó cientos de muertos, acaba de nacer el primer niño devolviendo con ello la esperanza a la ciudad.

Life has made way in Pisco. Two days after the violent earthquake that shook that city and left hundreds dead, the first baby was born, giving hope back to the city.

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