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October 31st, 2008

THAT SMALL CLAY BULL “TORITO” IS NOT FROM PUCARÁ - IT IS FROM PUPUJA

(translated and adapted from an article by Miguel Ángel Cárdenas M).

(Part 5 of 5)
To the salvation of the authentic legacy.
The revalorisation of the origin of the Toritos has motivated that the National Institute of Culture (INC by its Spanish acronym) has developed as of June a project of promotion and diffusion of the ceramics of Checca Pupuja and Santiago de Pupuja, that will include a documentary and a Spanish and an English catalogue on the 12 most representative ceramic pieces of these communities (they also have Pupuja horses and unique pieces of their celebrations and millenarian beliefs of unending value).
Following this rediscovery, during this year the sample will be inaugurated " The art of Pupujas" in the Centre Cultural Roots, in Lino Alarco 157, Miraflores. And later in the year the Second Collective Sample of My Torito from Pukará will take place in the Palace of Túpac Yupanqui, in Cuzco, with the participation of plastic artists of the Andean South (the past year the first sample was realised in the Jockey Place, with Lima artists like Shinki, Letts and Polanco).



October 30th, 2008

THAT SMALL CLAY BULL “TORITO” IS NOT FROM PUCARÁ - IT IS FROM PUPUJA

(translated and adapted from an article by Miguel Ángel Cárdenas M).
(Part 4 of 5)

The master Concepcion Roque Chambi, of 54 years, is the expert in the artisan process that narrates briefly: "I know from the 6 years that first one makes the head, then the horns, then the forehead and the rosettes, to finish with the feet. They are made separately and later they are joined before going into the earth oven or “Pampahorno”. I only make them when there are orders, a Torito is something serious". In Checca Pupuja the origins are still alive. Concepcion counts on the 'knowledge of the house' that "from our ancestors that joined with the Spanish customs we put Toritos in the straw ceilings or tiles so that they would protect the house from diseases and they bring good luck" to us;. (Today, with the arrival of corrugated zinc roofing from the cities that custom only hangs on in the original towns of the Andean South with the celebration of the Wasi Wasi). At his 73 years, the patriarch Simón Roque Roque, living historian of the Toritos of Pupuja, recalls his grandfather: "He taught it to me when he was already old and when I was 8 years old. I never went to Pucará, I have always lived here, but until 50 years ago clients from Puno, Arequipa and Cuzco arrived here. But now we are only five that can make the Toritos. Our grandchildren do not want to, if they knew that it would make them money they would do it, but they leave. Can something be done?". Simón can sell, by ignorance, genuine Torito --that abroad would be most expensive – for a measly 25 soles. Because of this, the young of Pupuja unhappily leave their inheritance. Can something be done?

LAST PART IN THIS SAME PLACE TOMORROW



October 29th, 2008

THAT SMALL CLAY BULL “TORITO” IS NOT FROM PUCARÁ - IT IS FROM PUPUJA

(translated and adapted from an article by Miguel Ángel Cárdenas M).

(Part 3 of 5)
Nevertheless, the syncretism was more powerful (and slow, according to Tauro del Pino) than the mere concealment: When the Spaniards introduced the bull into the mountain areas, it adapted to the height, the temperature and the type of forage with so impressive strength and ferocity that its image happened to preside -by its own right - the rituals of fertility like a ceremonial container or “Paccha”. Thus from the Vice royal times, the “Conopa of Torito” became related as much with the Catholic Festival of the Virgin of the Trinity as with the pagan “Señalacuy”. The first, in May, was very influential because they adorned a live bull with roses and thus the tradition to decorate it with allegorical rosettes in the ceramics there. The second, however, was an Andean rite of marking of the cattle (that before took place with the lamas and alpacas), in which the bull was tied and knocked down to make incisions in the forehead and the body and to use his blood -mixed with fermented maize brew or “Chicha” - like a ritual payment to the Earth. And from there the figure of the tongue sticking out portrayed in the in the ritual Torito, because when the blood ran down his nostrils the animal licked them, anxious. And also, because of this, you will see the circular and shining membranes on the throat and the chest of the Torito known like Wallki, that are continued to be done with a called mineral “escuria” and in which which they portray the sharp cuts that broke its skin in the real “señalacuy” or ritual cutting.
Mariano Choquehuanca, that began to make Toritos at the age of 5 years recalls it thus: " My grandparents say that with “señalacuy” he attracted a good year and abundance. But soon it was prohibited, because it was so bloody". Mariano affirms that today there is another still alive: "When somebody gets married we give them two Toritos so that they will have abundant cattle. They must keep the pair until their death underneath the Earth, buried in the middle of their land”.

(NEXT PART TOMORROW AT THE SAME PLACE)



October 28th, 2008

THAT SMALL CLAY BULL “TORITO” IS NOT FROM PUCARÁ - IT IS FROM PUPUJA

(translated and adapted from an article by Miguel Ángel Cárdenas M).

(Part 2 of 5)
Unlike that organized district, the neighbouring Checca Pupuja is a dispersed community, in an area of 4 kilometres, at 3,900 meters above sea level. Here are houses built of adobe plastered with mud for 70 families, who limit with the tutelary hills Paqo Qhawana and Antaña. But three branches of craftsmen survive here: the Choquehuancas, the Roques and the Quispes. To say 'branches’ is wishful thinking, because they are in fact only five superstitious craftsmen (we located three very distrustful ones and not believing that finally they would be valued; one of which, Simón Roque Roque, the oldest and most silent one, would have to be named with great justice a Master of Peruvian crafts). These creators of the Torito truthfully only survive by love of the art, for the Andes and the hunger: those who broker their sales only pay them 10 soles for each unique piece that takes them a whole day to make by hand. And that Pucará is exploding, manufacturing and febrile, with tourism. Their children - the majority has been going away to Juliaca or to look for minerals in the mines- they have lost the generational interest and the inheritance seems to lose itself.

THE BIRTH OF THE MYTH
But how did the Torito of Pupuja originate? The anthropologist Demetrio Roca, in a 1962 study, indicated that "they must have had their origin in religion, they could have been elaborated to replace to old “Conopas”, whose use was prohibited and persecuted by the extirpators of idolatries". Conopas were pre Inca and Inca figures of corpulent and voluminous camelids with a concavity in the back and the enlarged chest of wool that were used in propitiatory rites (Francisco Stastny prefers the term “Ulti” or “Illa”: ceramics with necks and bridged handles and sculptures of adoration that were in the Palace of Kalasaya for example). According to Roca, against the extirpating priests, the “ancients” began to give form to the “Toritos” in order not to arouse mistrusts. Conserving the original function, but changing its shape".

(NEXT PART ON THIS SAME PLACE TOMORROW)



October 27th, 2008

THAT SMALL CLAY BULL “TORITO” IS NOT FROM PUCARÁ - IT IS FROM PUPUJA

(translated and adapted from an article by Miguel Ángel Cárdenas M).

(Part 1 of 5)
Puno. A trip to the origins always unites the ends: in the distant communities of Checca Pupuja and Santiago de Pupuja, where the last original craftsmen on the magical small clay bull or “Torito” of Pucará live and where the ancestral symbol continues to be born. The hands of Mariano Choquehuanca Quispe, 44 years old - the youngest descendant of the pre Inca Pupujas pottery culture - continues developing with sañu (clay) and chupa (glue) a tight roll doubled over a round roll, sliding in a curve its tongue across its small nostrils, while his hands are forming stylish waqras (horns) of a brave yearling calf. "It is my Torito of Pupuja", Choquehuanca shouts and the origins are back in play.
It was in years of the 50s and the 60s when the station of Pucará, at two hours from Juliaca acquired greater importance. It was a point of special commerce where the Railroad of the South passed, that crossed the 261 kilometres distance until reaching Cusco. The craftsmen arrived there from as far away as Azángaro to offer their works, especially those of Checca and Santiago brought religious - magical germinal toritos who would cause to admiration in the Cuzco fairs of in Urubamba, T'iyobamba, and the one of Calca. The popular denomination was born with the travellers and tourists who responded those who asked to them for those objects that were said to have special powers: "They are the Toritos of Pucará".

The successful sale became a fashion in Pucará, where a group of smart craftsmen who, by the powerful demand they informally patented as their own and they used massive moulds, which ended up saturating the market with pieces of low quality (although the master Luis Maple excelled in creating "Toritos llanos": of complete black colour and very heavy). " And the Torito was losing its patrimonial value ", says Jose Gutiérrez, person in charge of the Tika project that tries to revalue the manual production process of the authentic Pupujas and to establish alliances with designers, artists and private companies to safeguard the tradition with an exportable supply of "unique pieces".

"And also making living workshops with the real craftsmen and a site museum in Santiago de Pupuja", says Gutiérrez. Happily that for this the mayor of Santiago, Jaime Yapo, is all fired up: "All here, the 8,500 inhabitants have grown up with the Torito in the straw ceilings of our houses to frighten away the bad spirits, from the times of our ours first grandparents". The bad thing is that in the district of Santiago - at 7 kilometres from Pucará – there is only a very old and hard to find craftsman left, "because he is very sick".

(TO BE CONTINUED ON THIS SAME PAGE TOMORROW)



October 24th, 2008

SWAPPING INDIGENOUS RIGHTS FOR OIL CONCESSIONS

(Translated from an article by Bartholomew Clavero* originally published in Spanish on the SERVINDI web page).

(PART 4 OF 4)

One does not consider that neither the law nor the decree, none of them, have been put under the procedure of consultation required by Agreement 169. The indigenous part has only been able to become presents through the mobilization. The end of which is not provoked either the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Towns had been adopted by United Nations shortly before beginning the history of this ill-fated decree and that Peru has promoted in addition it and continues supporting in the international forums. Everything is not in evidence. Facing the indigenous rights, the government can continue with the double game of a favourable position in the international scope and an aggressive policy in the domestic order. The one tries to conceal the other. The Government insisted on the decree and mounted in rage when it was annulled. If they had not run into the indigenous mobilization and if it had not had in its hands the document of the Peoples’ Ombudsman? How can it lock itself up in that stubbornness? I ignore it, but I glimpse an answer beyond the generic one of an aggressively anti communitarian policies. The decree came with a price. It had sold his position surely with effort. In the corruption that could be suspected and now it is known, also it would be an interchange piece the dismantling of the regime established on the indigenous consultation. There is another way to understand the behaviour of the Government in these last months? Decree 1015 is not an isolated case. The Government really has abused the normative delegation of law 29157. It is not in addition the unique measure these last months that noticeably affects indigenous rights. A Constitution that is the public form of the corrupt regime of Fujimori serves without problems for other corruptions. And the law 26505, the one of 1995, does not reach the level neither of Agreement 169 of the International Labour Convention nor, mainly now, of the Declaration of United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous People.

- * Bartolomé Clavero is a member of the Permanent Forum of United Nations for the Human rights.



October 23rd, 2008

SWAPPING INDIGENOUS RIGHTS FOR OIL CONCESSIONS

(Translated from an article by Bartholomew Clavero* originally published in Spanish on the SERVINDI web page).

(PART 3 OF 4)

It in their opinion it fails to fulfil the constitutional principle of strict reserve, never delegable, of law so that they can be limited in their fundamental right, between which the People’s Ombudsman restrictively includes the indigenous right to the own culture that would seriously come to violate itself by a decree that puts in risk the subsistence of the respective communities. The People’s Ombudsman also understands more concretely than decree 1015 exceeds in the exercise of the delegation granted by law 29157. In this same one, although needs it is not either it that it had, is no base some to include between his assumption the procedure of indigenous consultation. The same Government has thus recognized it with his attempt bankrupt to carry out the reform through a law that, in any case, did not adjust either to the forecasts of the previous norm submissive reform. The most substantial part of the argumentation of the People’s Ombudsman is the one that talks about the foundations of the material unconstitutionality of the decree. There it is where it is argued that, in the light of an interpretation of the Constitution integrated with the international right of the human rights, the indigenous right to the own culture is a fundamental right. There it is where it is explained that to relax the procedure of the indigenous consultation constitutes an attack against the community that affects such fundamental right. The argumentation on the matter particularly is based on the doctrine of the inter-American jurisdiction, from the case Awas Tingni versus Nicaragua to the Saramaka case versus Surinam.

It is a point not less fundamental for the People’s Ombudsman. The decree contravenes the dispositions of Agreement 169 of the IEO that Peru has ratified. Relating this instrument to a constitutionality part that also is integrated by international norms of human rights, the People’s Ombudsman understands that the right of the indigenous communities to being consulted is a fundamental right, right against which the decree attempts. A document of this reach, that locks up the challenge to place to the Constitutional Court before so sensible questions, logically had to weigh in the spirit of the Congress when it annulled the decree either for or, by this same one, or with his second intentions, to clear the risk of which the constitutional jurisprudence was sensible to the arguments of the People’s Ombudsman. The 1995 law, that thus continues strictly speaking, does not offer base some for this understanding of the right to the culture and the right to the consultation like fundamental rights.
(LAST PART ON THIS SAME PAGE TOMORROW)



October 22nd, 2008

SWAPPING INDIGENOUS RIGHTS FOR OIL CONCESSIONS

(Translated from an article by Bartholomew Clavero* originally published in Spanish on the SERVINDI web page).

(PART 2 OF 4)
The law in any case establishes some guarantees in indigenous agreements that are those that this decree relaxes until practically annulling them. In addition, like an added guarantee, the law required a qualified majority of the Congress to be observed or changed. Prior to the decree of deficiencies, the Government had tried to reform the law by means of a new law, but ignoring the requirement of a qualified majority which it lacks and that it does not seem that the Congress is willing to extend to it. The last was against it as much for basic reasons as for reasons of form, as much by the irregularity to try the reform of the law without the required qualified majority as the attempt of doing so without key guarantees for the indigenous communities. How could then the Government carry out the reform by means of a decree with the same level as a law? The decree itself shows it. Thus this is how it begins: “The Congress of the Republic, by means of Law nº 29157, has delegated in the legislative power the faculty to legislate, by a term of one hundred eighty (180) calendar days, on diverse matters related to the implementation in the Free Trade Agreement between Peru and the United States“. This qualification in favour of a policy of free commerce took place at the end of 2007. The Congress did not agree that the procedure of consultation to indigenous communities was included in the matters delegated by this law of qualification. It was seen as an outright abuse. An indigenous social mobilization of unpublished reach for Peru was also decisive during the recent times when the Government flatly refused to negotiate, but the indigenous peoples found backers in the Congress. To sum up, the unlucky decree 1015 did not pass the parliamentary mandatory control and it is declared formally null in the penultimate week of August. Also, at the end of May, another relevant fact that had taken place also leaned heavily in the decision of the Congress. The Peruvian Peoples’ Ombudsman insists to the Constitutional Court to start up a process of unconstitutionality against the referred decree. Its argumentation is careful and consistent as much in the formal as in substance. It understands that this measure is contrary to the Constitution for several reasons.
(NEXT PART TOMORROW IN THIS SAME PLACE)



October 21st, 2008

SWAPPING INDIGENOUS RIGHTS FOR OIL CONCESSIONS

(Translated from an article by Bartholomew Clavero* originally published in Spanish on the SERVINDI web page).

(PART 1 OF 4)
In Peru the Government has undergone such reverses lately that it fell in the second week of the month of October. What blew the whistle was the scandal of the evidences of corruption in the concessions for the exploitation of oil resources. Shortly before this, the Government had suffered a spectacular defeat in Congress by its persistence to review, on the sly, against the Agreement 169 of the International Labour Organisation, something which is against the Peruvian Constitution and even against the respective legislation, the procedure of consultations with the indigenous communities. There is relation between the two occasions. The natives themselves have been a part of the package negotiated venally between corporations and the government. The economic scandal of the manifest corruption has come pre ceded by the political scandal of the normative abuse on the part of the Government, the one like the other. We take a look at the second one first, thus centring ourselves on the most significant case. It is it without doubt the one of the legislative decree 1015, published in May of this year 2008, that, according to its long name, “unifies the procedures of the farmer communities of the mountain range and of the forest with (sic) those of the Coast improving their competitiveness in livestock production and farming”. Its objective is not at all disguised. The aim is to relax the procedure of consultation with the indigenous communities in order to facilitate to the maximum the loss of their lands and the concessions of economic advantages on the same.
The decree has a history. Such procedure of consultation to indigenous communities is regulated by law 26505, of 1995, called “on the private investment in the development of economic activities in the lands of the national territory and the land of the farmers and native communities”, which fell outside the recognition of indigenous rights by the Constitution in force, of 1991, and of the later ratification, in 1994, of Agreement 169 of the International Labour Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, although it would not be in all aspects consequent with this second legal instrument.
(TO BE CONTINUED ON THIS SAME PAGE TOMORROW).



October 20th, 2008

BRAZILIAN PERUVIAN BI-NATIONAL ENCOUNTER TO GUARANTEE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES LIVING IN ISOLATION

(Adapted and translated from the SERVINDI web page)


A bi-national meeting will be realised between the 30th of October to the 1st of November in the City of Pucallpa, and in which indigenous leaders and public and private institutions of Peru and Brazil will participate, both countries whose border shelter the greatest amount of peoples living in isolation worldwide. The event is organized by the CIPIACI and the Centro do Trabalho Indigenista do Brasil (CTI). After the finding of an arrow different from the ones used by un-contacted Brazilian natives, which verifies the flight of their Peruvian counterparts from Peruvian to Brazilian territory due to the presence of illegal logging on Peru’s side of the common border, international organizations are preparing the first “Regional Encounter to Guarantee the Protection and the Respect of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation of the Peru-Brazil Border”. Considering the very serious situation of vulnerability in which the un-contacted natives on the border survive and live and the latent necessity of a bi national and multi-sector articulation, the meeting looks for to formulate a plan of joint operation that involves the governments, the companies and the civil societies of Brazil and Peru, in order to guarantee the rights of those people. According to the Centro do Trabalho Indigenista do Brasil (CTI), “this permanent threat demands immediate actions that guarantee the rights of these human beings. It demands a vision and cooperation across the borders: as a minimum, a bi national perspective”. For the Brazilian organization, it is urgent to initiate a process of cooperation between the indigenous, environmentalist organizations and of human rights of both countries. Antonio Iviche Quique, general coordinator of the International Committee for the Protection of the People in Isolation and Initial Contact (CIPIACI), affirm that the governments of Brazil and Peru are impelling projects of economic integration, energy and of infrastructure on the border, a space inhabited by indigenous peoples since millennia; nevertheless their rights are not considered at all. “We are at the beginning of this process of integration and displacements of isolated natives towards Brazil in search of spaces where to live are already occurring, it is not necessary to make a big effort to understand what will happen when these projects intensify”, adds Iviche Quique. It should be pointed out that Brazil and Peru together hold 71% of the Amazon forest and share nearly 2,800 km of border. Of the ten existing Territorial Reserves and proposals in Peru, for the protection of isolated natives, seven are located on the border with Brazil, or next to it. On the Brazilian side it is exactly on the border with Peru where there the major population concentrations of isolated natives of the country are to be found. The event will count on the participation of the Government of Brazil, through the presence of Dr. Márcio Meira, President of the National Foundation of the Indian - FUNAI, institution of the Brazilian Federal State, as well as that of Jose Carlos Meirelles, the Front of Environmental Protection of the Envira River, among others high civil servants of the neighbouring country. In representation of Peru, there will be a participation of indigenous organizations and federations with jurisdiction along the border, environmentalist organizations, the Peruvian Peoples’ Ombudsman will participate as well as civil servants of the sectors involved in the problem of the people in isolation.



October 17th, 2008

THEY FIND REMAINS OF HUMAN SACRIFICES OF MORE THAN 4 THOUSAND YEARS IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF BANDURRIA

Rest of human beings sacrificed more than 4 thousand years ago were discovered by specialists in the archaeological site of Bandurria, to the North of the Department of Lima, that lodges the oldest civilization of America. Alexander Chu Barrier, director of the Archaeological Project Bandurria, detailed that the rests found are two pairs of legs and hips and a beheaded body, whose head has not yet been found. They possibly belonged; he added, to three people, two of them women that were assassinated to fulfil a ritual of the civilization of the place. The archaeologist maintains that they have previously found corpses in Bandurria, but clarifies that this is the first time that presents indications of people that have died as part of a sacrificial rite.
The findings took place when they worked in one of the circular plazas of the archaeological site. Chu Barrier indicates that this is the second place that has been unearthed in Bandurria, and in the first there were no signs of human sacrifices. He refers that by the characteristics of the area, this circular place is possibly older than first. Also, he estimates that at least ten constructions more still remain hidden under the sand of the place, located around kilometre 141 of the North Pan-American Highway, in Huacho, Capital of the Lima Province of Huaura. With 3 thousand 200 years before Christ, Bandurria is considered the cradle of the oldest civilization of America.



October 16th, 2008

PERUS FIRST REGIONAL AREA OF CONSERVATION IS CREATED IN THE REGION OF SAN MARTIN
The Reserve of San Martin will guarantee the maintenance of resources like the water.
In the area there are species in danger of extinction, like the spectacled bear and the puma. The La Cordillera Escalera or Mountain Range Stairs is the name of the first area of regional conservation that has been created in our country. This reserved zone - established by the National Institute of Natural Resources (Inrena) - is located between the districts of Pinto Recodo, San Roque de Cumbaza, Pongo del Caynarachi and Barranquita in the Province of Lamas, Region of San Martín. In addition, it includes the Districts of San Antonio de Cumbaza, Tarapoto, La Banda de Shilcayo, Shapaja and Chuazuta, in the Province of San Martín. Miriam García Donayre, director of strategic planning of protected natural areas of the Inrena, said that with the creation of this reserve the protection of the tropical low forests and the environmental resources will be guaranteed, like the water that constitutes a vitally important element for the main populated centres within the region.
PERSPECTIVE. The tourism is one of the activities with enormous potentialities in the new regional reserve. It is that the beauty of the landscape and the biodiversity that the place offers are ideal to attract travellers of other latitudes lovers of eco-tourism. For this reason, the Strategic Plan of the Region San Martin has, like one of its main axes of development, the promotion of the tourism and the sustainable management of the natural resources of the department. The reserve that counts on a surface of 149,870 hectares is the refuge of species in danger of extinction, like the spectacled bear the Andean condor, and the puma, among others. She added that the preservation of the Mountain range is fundamental because it is the main source of water resources of the department of San Martin, that presents serious problems by the water deficiency and that at the moment is affected by the deforestation taking place.



October 15th, 2008

THE CORDILLERA BLANCA WHITE MOUNTAIN RANGE IN HUARAZ IS LOSING ITS SNOW COVER AT AN ALARMING RATE

The White Mountain Range is condemned to melt. The aggressive effects of the climatic change threaten to exterminate the glaciers of Peru. After a few weeks, when the National Institute of Natural Resources (Inrena) alerted on the disappearance of the Broggi glacier and on the serious backward movement of the snow-covered Pastoruri, now the experts of the institution warned that the White Mountain Range suffers from a terminal disease and there is no cure for its terminal and assured demise. Marco Zapata, head of the Unit of Glaciology of the Inrena, said to AFP that the time of life of the mountain range is uncertain. "Everything will depend on the temperature but it is known that the process of reduction of glaciers is irreversible and nothing can be done", he said. He gave details that between 1948 and 1976, the snows of the White Mountain Range lost and backed down in average nine metres but that, from 1977 to this date, the backward movement was between 19 and 20 metres. He also referred to that in 1989 a national inventory was made of the glaciers and it was determined that in the 18 mountain ranges of Peru there were 3.044 glaciers, that covered an area of 2.041 square kilometres. Nevertheless, in 1997, a study of the National Council of the Atmosphere (Conam) revealed that the glacier area was of 1.595 square kilometres, which means that, in eight years, the mass of glaciers had been reduced by as much as 25%. Zapata assured that, for this reason, the image of the White Mountain range will be just as the one of the Black Mountain Range, that is to say, "a mountain range full of only rocks".
THE HEAT AFFECTS THE HUASCARÁN.
On the other hand, Inrena informed that the global warming is affecting the National Park of the Huascarán, which lodges 663 glaciers, among them the Huascarán (6.768 masl) and the Pastoruri (5.240 masl), that has become an ice cap and is lost its surface glacier. Jean Ortiz, head of the mentioned park, indicated that due to the high temperatures some plants are disappearing and the animal flee to higher zones. "There now it is rare to find spectacled bears, deer, wild cats and condors", he pointed out.



October 14th, 2008

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AXIS PERU-BRAZIL
(PART 2 OF 2)


Adapted and translated from an article by Francisco Durand Professor of Latin American Policy of the University of Texas in San Antonio, USA.

This greater integration is the result of a diplomatic approach that has been accelerated since as of 2001, with Toledo, and is followed by Garcia. In the period 2001-2006 the meetings between presidents rose from 5 to 22, to which must be added those that are realised for the first time: 4 of vice-presidents, 10 of chancellors, 7 of ministers of defence and 8 of vice chancellors. This process is directed from Brasilia by a double alliance of economic groups and the State. Also it is well received in Peru for economic reasons, but also it must be it because it has beneficial geopolitical effects. We see the tactical differences, result of its positioning and range of resources and opportunities. While Brazil consolidates the Mercosur, and their economic groups project with advantage to their neighbouring markets, Peru indiscriminately opens itself to all types of investment, including an increasing Chilean influence. To the economic “invasion" of the Prussian neighbour to the South is added its decision to arbitrarily occupy a small fixed triangle in the last border boundary post of Tacna (paradoxically denominated the Concord), to project diagonally towards the Pacific and to claim silently, as my grandmother said, an increase of the territorial sea. The discord resurges in a time in which the Chilean capitals continue penetrating in the Peruvian market and buying even mega companies. In December of 2007 the Cencosud group acquired the majority of shares of the Peruvian group Wong. To it the predominant position in aerial transport is added (LAN), big department stores (Ripley and Saga Falabella), besides its presence in the banking sector, pension funds and pharmacies. More worrisome still are its plans to invest in Peruvian ports. The anti Chilean revival, a historically determining factor in Peruvian foreign policy, has returned to the scene, which forces to reconsider the strategy of unrestricted economic integration as fomented by ingenuous or interested neoliberal forces.
The axis Lima-Brasilia, in that sense, is advantageous to counterbalance this asymmetry generated by Chile in the Peruvian economy and because it tends to consolidate a strong and potentially stable relation with the largest and most economically solid country in Latin America. Then Peru is, or should show itself to be more positive, as a journalistic note says so well, "Brazil chooses Peru as its strategic axis". In this bet we will find not only the Peruvian conglomerates that, following the current theory, have opportunities to enter "strategic alliances" (they are in fact smaller partners, as in the case of Graña and Montero), but also experts of foreign policy that for quite a time have been pushing for a Lima-Brasilia alliance. It is then hour to stop dancing Chilean cueca and begin dancing samba. Also, to manage the change of social inclusion of native and other groups, and to learn to engage in a dialogue first and to invest later, handling the social thing with a true social sense, not like a project " yes or yes", that devastates the Amazon and its inhabitants (for being "dogs of the orchard owner" in that they do not let the capitalists and his operators eat).
THE END



October 13rd, 2008

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AXIS PERU - BRAZIL
(PART 1 OF 2)


Adapted and translated from an article by Francisco Durand Professor of Latin American Policy of the University of Texas in San Antonio, USA.
I must admit that until recently I did not have idea of the importance to build the inter oceanic export highway. After all, it is not the first time that it fails (it was tried in the 70s), and the megaprojects always have the risk of remaining without financing, mainly in inflationary times. After imbuing myself in the subject, I correct my blindness. A remarkable fact, that until now many analysts do not perceive, is that the commercial agreements go hand in hand with geopolitical considerations. They are initiatives of strong States and for that reason they push the signing of treaties and finance the lobbies. That is one of the main reasons for which the United States signed the Free Trade Agreement (TLC by its Spanish acronym) with Mexico. Apparently one is bilateral relations between partners, as if there was parity, but it is not like that. In fact, the weak States are excited with these "great economic opportunities", but they forget the fact to consider their own geopolitical strategy. Peru seems to be a case in which the negotiations determine their strategy not the other way around as it should have been. In the same way, it adopts a convoy mentality, to hook up to the first locomotive that happens to come by. Nevertheless, in spite of this attitude with Brazil, the conformation of the axis is not a bad idea although the government does not realise it yet. A glance indicates to us that several Brazilian conglomerates are investing quickly in projects tied to the axis besides others. In parallel Brazil is growing quickly as a commercial partner (today it is the fourth, after USA, Spain and Chile). The trade balance between Brazil and Peru 2002-2006 has increased from US$ 653 million total commerce (import and exports) to US$ 2.288 million, almost 4 times more.
(SECOND PART IN THIS SAME SPACE TOMORROW)





 
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