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Peru: Football, TV Ads, Mining and Social Networks

On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, [es], while Peruvians suffered with the semifinal match between Peru-Uruguay for the Copa América, netizens who were watching the match had a reason to tweet with anger: an advertising spot by the Sociedad Nacional de Mineria, Petróleo and Energia [es] (National Institute of Mining, Oil and Energy) with former football player Juan Carlos Obitas in the leading role, aired during halftime, which used the traditional rivalry between Peru and Chile to find supporters against increasing the mining windfall tax.

As usual, the Peruvian press [es] has gathered [es] reactions [es] by netizens, especially from Twitter, with hashtags like #culpadeoblitas (Oblita's fault) which is still active and #consejosdelciego (advice from the blind).

There are also some Facebook groups that give their opinions on this issue such as ‘Oblitas, te vendiste a las mineras y salaste a la selección‘ (Oblitas, you sold your soul to the mining industries and you gave our team bad luck) [es] and ‘Sí al Impuesto a las Sobreganancias Mineras‘ (Yes to the mining windfall profit taxes) [es]. These are some of the tweets that provide a better idea about how angry Twitter users are.

Although @elguille wrongly mentioned the organization that hired Oblitas, he conveyed [es] people's anger at that moment:

Buena la estrategia de conacami de contratar a oblitas para termimar de convencer a todo el Perú de lo mal que nos hacen las mineras 19 Jul via Snaptu

It was a very good strategy of conacami to hire Oblitas to convince all of Peru about the damage they inflict on us with these mining industries Jul 19 via Snaptu

While Ray Flores (@Rayf19) referenced [es] one of Juan Carlos Oblitas’ nicknames: ‘El ciego’ (The blind guy):

En el entretiempo veo un comercial donde Oblitas habla sobre la minería, q mierra sabe ese won de minería, cómprenle unos anteojos #nololean 19 Jul via Snaptu

During halftime I see a commercial where Oblitas talks about mining, what the heck does he know about mining, buy some classes for him

Because of his anger [es], @pacobardales vigorously denies the football triumphs that Oblitas achieved:

Oblitas, olvidé tu golazo a Argentina en las eliminatorias para México 86. Ahora eres un sicario más 19 Jul viaTweetDeck

Oblitas, I forgot your super goal against Argentina in the qualifying round for Mexico 1986. Now you’re another hired killer. Jul 19 via TweetDeck

There are some others, like Cesar (@zerojuls) [es], who started to relate the bad results of the match to the advertising spot:

Gol uruguayo … por la san fruta!!!! #culpadeoblitas

Uruguayan goal… What the heck!!! #culpadeoblitas [Oblita's fault]

Similar opinions were given by Alberto (@mesones), Francisco Ramos (@franciscoramos3), Nila Vigil (@nilavigil), Jorge Campos (@jorgelpotter) and @jasbort58, among others.


But beyond the reactions at the moment, the media has labeled [es] the advert as xenophobic since it promotes rivalry against Chile and it misuses the figures regarding the mining taxes in other countries. Others deny this fact by saying: “En Perú las mineras pagan menos que en Chile” (In Peru mining companies pay less than in Chile). Even some politicians are talking about [es] this issue.

Comments were also seen in blogs. Galayza, from the blog Marcamasi, posts what a commentator said [es] about mining industries in Peru paying more taxes than in Chile, Canada or Australia:

Solamente decirle a Oblitas y a los lectores que en Canada las riquezas le pertenecen en Iexclusividad al estado. Ademas las empresas mineras que explotan los recursos naturales en Canada son Estatales o en el peor de los casos Hibridos (estatales-”privados”) asi es que la comparacion que hace Oblitas es para engañar a niños.

I just want to tell Oblitas and readers that in Canada money belongs exclusively to the State. In addition to that, mining companies that are exploiting natural resources in Canada belong to the State, or, in the worst- case scenarios, are Hybrid ones (State- Private). Therefore, Oblita's comparisons are meant to deceive children.

In Manalogo, Manoloprofe provides his reflections [es] on the use of a public personality in the spot. He asserts that this is an example of cheap publicity:

Lo del señor Oblitas es pasajero. Lo que no es pasajero ni puede serlo, es el intento de usar la publicidad, como la forma de comunicación en la que porque es pagada, se puede decir cualquier cosa. Hay algo que aquí se soslaya peligrosamente. Como producto, el comercial está bien hecho pero en general resulta bastante ramplón. Tanto que no lo siento como relevante. Es demasiado obvio en su pretendido mensaje. Publicitariamente creo que se auto anula, que no es efectivo.

What happens with Mr. Oblitas will be temporary. What is not temporary is the use of advertising as a way of communication that just because it is paid you can say anything. There is something that is dangerously evident in this ad. As a product, it is well done, but in general terms it is way too simple. It is so simple that I do not perceive there is something remarkable. It is way too obvious in its intended message. In publicity terms I think that it fails, it is ineffective.

Marco Zanelli, from the Días Extraños blog, clearly conveys [es] his anger against the mining industry:

¿Se volvieron locos los de las mineras que no quieren pagar el impuesto a la sobreganancia manoseando de tal manera las relaciones con otros países? […] la minera Antamina dejó de pagar 300 millones de dólares acogiéndose a unas exoneraciones tributarias -ya derogadas hace una década- del gobierno de Fujimori, mientras que la Southern Cooper tuvo una sobreganancia que sobrepasaba los 800 millones de dólares. Todo esto fue el año pasado, 2010, cuando la minería formal -inescrupulosa en muchos sentidos- hacía de las suyas sin una plena consulta a las comunidades aledañas

Have the people of the mining industry lost their minds that they do not want to pay the windfall profit tax, by dealing with the relations with other countries like this? […] The Antamina Mine did not pay 300 million dollars by using the tax exonerations of the Fujimori Government – they were already done away a decade ago- while Southern Copper had a windfall profit that exceeded 80.000 million dollars. All of those facts took place last year, 2010, when formal mining, immoral in many terms, was doing what it wanted without asking the neighbor communities.

Ernesto from Física3 has another perspective [es] on mining production:

Y es que eso de apoyar a la minería basándonos tan solo en las cifras brutas del PBI no es lo recomendable, toca ver si eso es bueno para el país, y como ya lo había hecho antes en mis notas sobre valor agregado, el Perú debe de centrarse mas en producir los tramos de la cadena de valor que den mas riqueza, la minería es lo inmediato pero no lo que beneficia mas, así que suspirar porque abran mas minas (como si esta fuera la salvación del Perú) no es sino condenarnos a seguir siendo primario exportador.

It is not wise to support mining just based on the rough figures of the GDP. We have to see if this is something good for the country and as I had written before in my posts about the added value [es], Peru has to focus on producing more in the levels of the value chain that provide more wealth. Although mining is the most immediate activity, it is not the most beneficial one. Therefore, expecting to open more mines, as if they were the savior [es] of Peru, means condemning us to keep on being the main exporter.

Juan Carlos Lujan published [es] a post in Sin Papel about the reaction of the Sociedad de Mineria (Mining Society) to the criticism on the Internet:

Esta mañana los responsables de la cuenta en Facebook de la Sociedad Nacional de Minería intentaban resolver un gran problema de reputación a través de dos frentes; eliminación de comentarios en muro en Facebook y bloqueo de acceso a nuevos seguidores a través del botón Me Gusta. Ambas son acciones erradas que dejarán lecciones a futuro. No se puede afrontar una crisis de reputación con este tipo de acciones. Si son parte de una red social, como institución deben afrontar con honestidad y transparencia los comentarios negativos.

This morning, the administrator of the Facebook account of the Sociedad Nacional de Mineria was trying to solve a serious problem of reputation by using two measures: deleting comments in the Facebook wall and blocking the access of new members through the Like button. Those are wrong actions that will leave us a lesson in the future. A reputation crisis cannot be faced with those kinds of actions. If it is part of a social network, as an organization, it has to face negative comments with honesty.

Juan Carlos Oblitas declared [es] that “he believed in what he had done”. He also talked about lack of tolerance. In addition to that, it was known that the famous publicist Gustavo Rodriguez (@gustavoescribe) was the one who made the controversial spot. In his Twitter account he asserted:

Comentaré SNMPE cuando salga toda la campaña. Por ahora, dos cosas: 6 hours ago via web

I’ll comment on the SNMPE when the whole publicity campaign is released. Up until now, I’ll assert two things:  6 hours ago via web

I. 1/3 de lo q recauda el Estado son impuestos mineros. Mientras no desarrollemos otras actividades, no queda más que ser competitivo en eso 5 hours ago via web

I. 1/3 of what the State collects is related to mining taxes. If we do not develop other activities, we do not have any other option but being competitive in that. 5 hours ago via web

II. Es injusto decir Oblitas vendido. De ser así, Sofía M. o Natalia M. serían unas vendidas, solo q a transnacionales de otro tipo. Gracias 5 hours ago via web

II. It is unfair to say that Oblitas sold his soul. If this affirmation was true, Sofia M or Natalia. M would have also sold their souls, but to another type of transnational companies. Thanks 5 hours ago via web

Francisco Ganza comments [es] in his blog Apuntes Peruanos about another video of the SNMPE publicity campaign:

Cuando salió el video pro minería del entrenador Juan Carlos Oblitas se desató un furor en ciertos representantes de la llamada izquierda caviar reclamando por el anuncio. […] pero si es un caviar, como Nano Guerra (cuasi candidato por Fuerza Social, el extinto partido de Villarán) ahí si todos calladitos. […] Es un doble estandar bastante interesante.

When the video of coach Juan Carlos Oblitas favoring mining was released, it caused rage among some people representing [es] the so called ‘caviar left’ that was complaining about the spot […], but if it is a caviar like Nano Guerra (an almost candidate of Fuerza Social, the former party of [Lima Mayor] Villaran), they would have closed their mouths […] This is an interesting double standard.

Although it seems difficult to get rid of the first bad impression of an organization that people frown upon, Peruvians will have to wait until all videos of the publicity campaign are released to give a final opinion. Like Javier Bellina affirms [es] in his Blog Memorias de Orfeo referring to the Mining Society:

Señores: Hablen con la verdad, paguen sus impuestos, sean buenos muchachos, y en vez de navegar en tres yates, háganlo en solo dos, que lo pequeño es hermoso. Tengan ganancias sensatas en vez de jugar a la avaricia, paguen bien, cuiden el medio ambiente, demuestren que son mejores, y su situación será mucho más sostenible. O búsquense una dictadura africana que coimear.

Sirs: Tell the truth, pay your taxes, be good boys, instead of sailing in three yachts, sil in just two yachts, because having less is beautiful. Earn fair money instead of being greedy, pay well, take care of the environment, prove yourself that you’re better than this and you will be able to deal with your situation. Otherwise look for an African dictatorship to bribe.
This post was originally published by Juan Arellano in his blog Globalizado [es]. The picture of this post was a screen shot of the TV commercial on Youtube.

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