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Peru: An Opportunity for the Country

In the aftermath of the earthquake in Peru, some bloggers have continued to wonder who is to blame for the disappearance in aid and the sensationalist nature of the coverage. However, others are looking at the disaster as an opportunity for Peruvians to look critically at themselves and at their elected officials in order to make real reforms so that this does not happen again.Gonzalo del Rosario of Web-ad-ass [ES] thinks that some television channels are marketing themselves as a result of their sensationalist coverage.

yo no me quiero sumar a la televisión y a la radio, y a todos los medios de dominación (porque llamarlos de “comunicación” es mucho para ellos) quienes han llenado toda su programación con informes especiales sobre cómo está muriendo la gente en el sur de mi país. No creo que les importe, jamás les importaron, y si la capital, Lima, no hubiese sido asustada y removida hasta las sienes con aquel sismo de 7.5, creo que poco o nada les hubiera importado.Aunque eso no interesa ahora.Es bueno ver que existe gente que se preocupe de una manera sincera y desinteresada, pero también existen otros oportunistas que sólo lo hacen porque saben que los van a ver, y mientras más muertes filmen, más televidentes tendrán.

I don't want to be part of the television and the radio and all of the dominant media (why call them communication media, it's too much for them) that have filled all of their programming with special reports about how the people are dying in the southern part of the country. I don't think it matters to them, it never mattered to them. If the capital of Lima had not been scared to their wit's end with the 7.5 magnitude earthquake, then I don't think they would have cared very little or not at all. Even thought that does not matter right now. It is good to see that there are people that are genuinely and sincerely interested, but there are also those opportunists that know that they'll be noticed. While the more dead that are filmed, the more viewers they will have.

For some there is a certain sense of guilt and reflection regarding the level of help provided in these times of needs. Juan Arellano of Globalizado [ES] asks some tough questions.

Y es cierto, no son sólo los medios, son los blogs, la gente, todos hablamos de lo mismo, iniciativas creadas con otro propósito de pronto sufren accesos o arrebatos “voluntaristas” pero ¿Qué hacemos aparte de hablar? ¿ponernos en la foto para hacer ver que ayudamos? queda bien ¿no? postear desde la comodidad de nuestras casas mientras la gente que se preocupa de verdad también la sufre como los mismos damnificados.

It's true, it is not only the media, but the blogs and the people that all say the same things. Initiatives that are created for other reasons suffer setbacks, but what do we do other than talk? Do we put ourselves in the photo to show that we are helping? It looks good, right? Do we post from the comfort of our own homes while the people that really worry suffer like victims.

A recent article in the Correo Peru [ES] written by José Chlimper, criticizes local governments for its inefficiency and corruption. “The earthquake only makes this more evident, more tragic and easier to report to the press.” Gran Combo Club [ES] comments on this article, and agrees that this presents an opportunity.

Comentario: Son ideas que tienen en común el mirar adelante. En mi opinión no se trata de reformar INDECI, sino de que la institución tenga gente capaz y en permanente capacitación. Pero esto sólo es posible limitando la influencia de los políticos. Tampoco se trata de crear un nuevo ministerio, ” el ministerio de prevención”. No es necesaria más burocracia inoperante. Se trata de que lo que existe funcione. Pero bueno, es una propuesta al fin y al cabo, algo que escasea en el mar de demagogia mediática.

Comment: These are ideas that are related to looking forward. In my opinion, reforming INDECI is not necessary, rather it is important that the institution counts on capable people that are always in training. However, this is only possible by limiting the politician's influence. This does not mean to create a new ministry, “the Ministry of Prevention.” We do not need more inoperable bureaucracy. We need to fix what already exists. Well, this is just a proposal, which is something that is lacking in all of this demagogy.

Arellano continues by following the line of thinking regarding the opportunity for Peru and the role of all of its citizens.

Y sí pues, no se puede negar que el terremoto ha sido como un catalizador, un agente revelador que ha servido para traer a la luz los grandes problemas del país, que están presentes siempre, aunque los ignoremos. Evidentemente cada cual lo trata de acuerdo a su capacidad, proclividades y/o intereses. Pero a nosotros, en nuestro papel de lectores/espectadores, es que nos toca discernir la paja del trigo. Sin embargo, ¿Todos podremos hacerlo?

We cannot deny that the earthquake has been a catalyst, a revealing agent that has brought the big problems of the country to light. They have always been present, event though we ignore them. Evidently, each one addresses them according to one's capacity and/or interests. But we, in our role of readers/spectators, are the ones that should see the difference. However, can we all do it?

Gran Combo Club [ES] writes about the role of politicians in the disappearance of disaster aid.

se están robando la ayuda. Se las agarran con el chofer del gobierno regional del Callao o con los de la municipalidad de la Victoria (ver en Kolumna Okupa: Terremoto en Perú: corrupción y donaciones) pero los peces gordos, los responsables de la imprevisión, la imprudencia criminal de copar y desactivar las instituciones públicas competentes y de los megarobos, no caen, Es lo que manifesté dos días después del 15-8:Desde un punto de vista político, ni nos sorprendamos. Es lo que hacen nuestros políticos en nuestros países, sobre todo cuando debilitan a las instituciones. El copamiento de García ha llevado a esta situación. En 2001 en Arequipa las cosas se hicieron mejor. Todavía quedaba algo de capacidad organizativa en el aparato del estado para responder a las catástrofes. García se la acabó de cargar. No es algo inusitado. Es lo que ocurrió en la Argentina con las inundaciones y con el terremoto de 1970 en el Callejón de Huaylas. La ayuda no llega porque se la roban. Basta ya de no decir las cosas por su nombre.

They are stealing the aid. They make deals with the driver of the regional driver of Callao or with those of the Victoria municipality (see Kolumna Okupa [ES]), but the big fish, those responsible for the lack of foresight and weakening of the competent public institutions and of the large thefts, do not fall. From a political point of view, we are not surprised. This is what the politicians in our countries do, especially when they weaken the institutions. Garcia helped take us to this situation. In Arequipa, they did things better in 2001. There were still some organizational capacity in the state to respond to catastrophes. Garcia finished with all that. This is not something uncommon. It happened during the floods in Argentina and with the 1970 earthquake in the Callejón de Huaylas. The help did not arrived because it was stolen. Enough with not saying things for what they are.

Translation by Eduardo Avila

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