Peru: Southern Peru on Strike Reclaiming Gas

On June 17, a 24-hour strike took place in the southern region of Peru, protesting the recent sale of Camisea Gas to Mexico. The protesters claim that there is a great need for that gas in the cities of the region, where children in rural areas and even in the cities are dying because of the cold weather. This event was organized by the Frentes de Defensa (Defense Fronts) of the “Macrorregión Sur” (the Arequipa, Tacna, Cusco, Puno, Apurímac and Madre de Dios departments). Ten days ago, while President Alan Garcia inaugurated [es] a plant for liquefied natural gas in Mechorita, in the province of Cañete, the inhabitants of La Convención, Cusco, expressed their decision to extend the strike to 48 hours.

Newspaper La República informs [es] about other points that make up the protesters’ platform: “In Puno, organizations are opposing the construction of the hydroelectric plant Inambari. In Canchis they reject the hydrolectric project Salcca Pucara [es]; in Espinar they oppose the irrigation and water diversion project Majes Siguas II [es]; and in La Convention, in addition to demanding the cancellation of the gas export contracts [es] (in Camisea), they object to the construction of a second TGP duct [es] because it affects communal lands [es].”

The same newspaper reproduced the statements [es] of premier Javier Velásquez saying that the government will not give in to pressures or threats from authorities and union leaders of Cusco, indicating further that the Comité de la Lucha (Committee of Struggle) and the mayor are running for election and want to use the issue of gas as an electoral banner. It should also be noted that the government's position is that domestic consumption of gas must be ensured [es] and that contracts must not be renegotiated [es].

¨For gas and dignity, land and liberty" Image by user markopunk (Marco Moscoso) from Tweetphoto, used with photographer's permission.

Here is a summary of the information about the strike, organized by department, as seen on Twitter:

Apurímac. Public offices were closed and public transportation was scarce. The blog Huaccataqui [es] includes several photos of the strike in the city of Abancay. The author of the blog, @Apu_Rimak [es], also tweeted the following:

Llegando a Abancay y el Paro se siente más en el centro y en las principales avenidas hace cerca de 3 horas via TweetDeck

Arriving to Abancay and the strike is felt stronger downtown and in the main avenues 3 hours ago via TweetDeck

mercados cerrados, I.Educativas y Gob. Regional y Direcciones Regionales no atienden. principales tiendascerradas en Abancay hace cerca de 3 horas via TweetDeck

markets are closed, [several government agencies] are not opened. Main stores closed in Abancay 3 hours ago via TweetDeck

anuncían q la marcha en Abancay en apoyo al Paro Macroregional saldrá a las 2pm. No hubo servicio de transporte urbano tampoco hacia Cusco hace cerca de 3 horas via TweetDeck Retwitteado por 1 persona

they are announcing that the march in Abancay supporting the Macroregional strike will start at 2pm. There was no urban transport service available neither toward Cusco 3 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by 1 person

Arequipa. Things were a little livelier in Arequipa. Public offices were also closed and there was little public transportation, but heavy police involvement was reported. There was also a march which included some aggression. This is what Twitter users wrote:

@ossoval Un grupo de desadaptados obreros de construcción civil arrancan un arbol de raíz para bloquear via en av. Goyeneche esto por #paro en AQP hace cerca de 7 horas via TweetDeck

@ossoval A group of misfit construction workers pulled a tree out from its roots to block the way on Goyeneche avenue because of the strike in Arequipa 7 hours ago via TweetDeck

@ossoval Suspenden salida de buses interprovinciales desde terminal terrestre en Aqp por temor a desmanes x parte de manifestantes en #paroaqp hace cerca de 7 horas via TweetDeck

@ossoval They suspend the exit of inter-provincial buses from the terminal in Arequipa because of fear of excesses from the demonstrators in the strike about 7 hours ago via TweetDeck

@ossoval como era previsible el motivo de la movilizacion o #paroaqp se distorsiona por la postura siempre violenta de algunos frentes y dirigentes hace cerca de 6 horas via TweetDeck

@ossoval as expected the motive behind the mobilization or strike is distorted due to the always violent attitude of some fronts and leaders about 6 hours ago via TweetDeck

@rsumaria Gobernador de Arequipa confirma que las empresas del parque industrial trabajan con normalidad, pese al paro #paro hace cerca de 7 horas via Chromed Bird

@rsumaria Governor of Arequipa confirms that the businesses in the industrial park are working as usual, despite the strike about 7 hours ago via Chromed Bird

@rsumaria Víctor Medina, del frente de defensa del gas, reconoce problemas de convocatoria en el paro de Arequipa #paroaqp hace cerca de 5 horas via Chromed Bird

@rsumaria Victor Medina, from the Front defending the gas, admits problems in the call for the strike in Arequipa about 5 hours ago via Chromed Bird

@gicoal #paroaqp con palos en mano construccion civil obliga a cerrar negocios del centro historico hace cerca de 8 horas via web

@gicoal strikers with sticks on hand, [construction workers association] forces businesses to close in the historic downtown about 8 hours ago via web

@gicoal 60% de transporte en Arequipa trabaja con normalidad #paroaqp (via 960AM) hace cerca de 9 horas via web

@gicoal 60% of the transportation in Arequipa is working as usual #paroaqp (via 960AM) about 9 hours ago via web

@zulmaroque AL FINAL esto fue paro ó no lo fue? en mi casa los micros, colectivos andaron normal,menos pero habia…yo me fuí en taxi xq es +rapido hace cerca de 8 horas via TweetDeck

@zulmaroque IN THE END was this a strike or not? in my house buses, cabs worked normally, there were fewer of them but they were there… I took a cab because it's faster about 8 hours ago via TweetDeck

Cusco. In the imperial city and neighboring localities, attempts were made to stop the strike. Photos of the events in Cusco can be seen on @markopunk's Tweetphoto account and in a set of pictures on flickr by littonoma.

@markopunk Hoy todos al paro! Por nuestro gas! hace cerca de 14 horas via Twitter for iPhone

@markopunk Today everyone on strike for our gas! about 14 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

@mobeca Paro regional por el gas en Cusco es total y pacífico a estas horas. hace cerca de 13 horas via Gravity

@mobeca Regional strike for gas in Cusco is widespread and peaceful at this time about 3 hours ago via Gravity

@mobeca Vehículos transitan casi con normalidad,no hay transporte público,comercios cerrados en un 90%. #cusco about 5 hours ago via Gravity

@mobeca Vehicles travel almost as usual, there is no public transportation, 90% of stores are closed.#cusco about 5 hours ago via Gravity

@3riking LINDO DIA DE SOL!! realmente pienso que #CUSCO aun sigue siendo la tierra del sol! (como quema) dias de #PARO y todos a pie, #CHAQUI-PURI hace cerca de 11 horas via TweetDeck

@3riking BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY!! I really think that #CUSCO is still the land of the sun! (this sun burns) days of strike #PARO and everyone is up, #CHAQUI-PURI about 11 hours ago via TweetDeck

@markopunk Mientras regresaba a casa caminando vi que varios automoviles ya estàn circulando a pesar de las piedras en las pistas. about 8 hours ago via TweetDeck

@markopunk While I was walking back home I saw several cars that are circulating in spite of the rocks on the roads. about 8 hours ago via TweetDeck

@sicuaninoticias Jefe de la División Policial de Canchis destacó desarrollo pacífico del paro en Canchis Cusco. hace cerca de 2 horas via Google

@sicuaninoticias Chief of Police Division of Canchis pointed to peaceful development of the strike in Canchis Cusco about 2 hours ago via Google

@voxurubamba La prensa de Lima se olvidó que hay una gran paralización en el sur en defensa de nuestro gas BUENAS NOCHES hace 41 minutos via web

@voxurubamba The press in Lima has forgotten that there is a great paralyzation in the south in defense of our gas GOOD NIGHT 41 minutes ago via web

Puno. The strike in Puno was peaceful but convincing. There were also marches, pickets and slower traffic. Twitter users from Puno wrote the following:

@geniosnet Puno acata paro macrorregional con relativa contundencia hace cerca de 16 horas via web

@geniosnet Puno attacks macroregional strike with relative forcefulness about 16 hours ago via web

@geniosnet Puno: sepa cómo se desarrolló el primer día del paro hace cerca de 3 horas via web

@geniosnet Puno: learn how the first day of the strike developed 3 hours ago via web

Tacna. In Tacna the main event was a march organized by the Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (CGTP [es]) (Workers Confederation of Peru) and Construcción Civil (the association for construction workers).

@el_cesar21 Según Radio Uno sólo el sindicato de Construccion Civil está movilizándose. Mercados. mercadillos y transportistas están trabajando. #Tacna hace cerca de 14 horas via Seesmic

@el_cesar21 According to Radio Uno only Construccion Civil is mobilizing. Markets, fairs and transportation services are working. #Tacna 14 hours ago via Seesmic

@titodolores Paro en rechazo a la exportación del gas no fue acatado en Tacna: Sólo hubo movilización hace cerca de 7 horas via HootSuite

@titodolores Strike rejecting the export of gas did not take place in Tacna: only marches took place 7 hours ago via HootSuite

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