Protesten lima

Sterilisatieschandaal achtervolgt presidentsverkiezingen Peru

Gepubliceerd op OneWorld op 10 april 2016

Reportage – LIMA, Peru – “Wij zijn de kinderen, van de dorpelingen, die je niet gesteriliseerd hebt gekregen!” Vanuit honderden kelen tegelijk klonk dit protestlied afgelopen dinsdagavond 5 april over het San Martín-plein in Lima, Peru. Tienduizenden demonstranten waren op de been om hun onvrede te uiten over presidentskandidate Keiko Fujimori, die volgens de peilingen de verkiezingen deze zondag 10 april zal winnen.

Aan de naam Fujimori – die kandidate Keiko subtiel heeft weggelaten in haar verkiezingscampagne – kleeft het enorme schandaal van geforceerde sterilisaties. Ruim 270.000 vrouwen in de arme gebieden in de bergen van het land zijn in de jaren negentig gesteriliseerd, tijdens een door USAID en de VN gefinancierd project tegen rurale armoede. Echter, 2.074 van hen hebben getuigd daar geen toestemming voor te hebben gegeven.

Lees verder in OneWorld

Sterilizations Peru

Peru’s history of forced sterilizations overshadows vote

Published in Al Jazeera English on 8th of April 2016

Lima, Peru – Victoria Vigo was in the 32nd week of her third pregnancy when she went to a hospital complaining of pains. She was immediately taken to the operating room and given a C-section. Her baby lived for only a few hours.

Vigo was devastated. But what made it worse was overhearing one of the doctors talk about how she was now being sterilised.

It was 1996 and Vigo had heard rumours of other women being forcibly sterilised, but had never thought it would happen to her.

Read on on Al Jazeera

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Bolivian women mining for a living and for respect

Published on Al Jazeera English on 4th of April 2016

Llallagua, Bolivia  – It started out of necessity 15 years ago. Dolly Quillka Bautista’s husband had slipped into a coma after an accident in the mines, leaving her without an income to feed their six children. She tried odd jobs, but the only one that made her enough money to survive was at the tin mine. So Quillka, in her early 30s at the time, took her husband’s helmet and lamp, and went to work at the mine.

Quillka’s first weeks were mainly dominated by fear – on average, last year, every two weeks someone died in Llallagua’s mines because of a collapsed roof or of poisonous gas, according to Francisca Alicia Soliz Mendez, who heads the local Federation of the Co-operatives organisation for miners. Without any training, villagers enter the mines in groups called “cooperativas” in Spanish, meaning co-operatives.

Read on via Al Jazeera

Welcome to Nueva Germania

The lost ‘Aryan’ utopia of Nueva Germania

Published in The Tico Times on 27th of February, 2016

NUEVA GERMANIA, Paraguay – To open the museum, señora Kück needs a hammer. She has lost the key, and the neighbor who should have a spare isn’t home today. But with a little olive oil and a few good knocks with the hammer, the lock springs open easily. She has done this more than once, Kück explains with a smile.

Inside the dusty building is a display of a few old pictures and artifacts of the German colonists who came here in 1886 to start an “Aryan colony” far away from the mainland of Europe, which they believed had been overrun by Jews. It’s not much of a museum, and Kück, who doesn’t look German, doesn’t know much about her ancestors, either.

Read on in The Tico Times

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De uittocht van de Boliviaanse klimaatvluchteling

Gepubliceerd in OneWorld op 15 februari 2016

Het Poopómeer, het één na grootste meer van Bolivia, droogde afgelopen jaar volledig op. Een ecologische ramp die de lokale bevolking, de Uru, uit het gebied verdrijft. De hoofdschuldigen: mijnbouw en klimaatverandering.

Reportage – “De regen is verdwenen”, vertelt de 72-jarige Clemente Solíz, die in het dorpje Uru Llapallapani aan de rand van het voormalige meer woont. “Wat ermee is gebeurd? Dat weet alleen God.” Solíz is een van de ongeveer tweehonderd overgebleven inwoners van het dorpje. De andere helft is vertrokken naar steden in de buurt: hun leven als vissers konden zij niet volhouden, en van de paar planten die wel op de zoutvlakte groeien kunnen zij niet overleven.

Lees verder op OneWorld

Armed with whips and rifles, Peruvian vigilantes help protect the Andes from criminals

January 28, 2016

LIMA, Peru – As the bus sways back and forth over a meandering jungle road, a middle-aged man stands up in the aisle. He carries an old rifle slung over his shoulder and wears bland army fatigues.

“This is a dangerous route we are driving, robberies have happened in the past,” he announces to fellow passengers. “The government isn’t providing the care that they should, but we are here for your safety. We don’t want anything to happen to you, but you must understand that we can’t work for free.”

Most of the passengers pay little attention. As he walks down the aisle cap in hand, a few passengers donate their coins.

Read on in The Tico Times

Looking out over the Amazon

To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’

Published in The Tico Times on 5th of January 2015

IQUITOS, Peru – When the brisk 66-year-old Julio Conwachi Sandow takes tourists through the jungle to go bird-watching, he talks a lot about flora and fauna. With his machete, he cuts away a piece of bark and explains how it helps cure stomachaches, and a few hundred meters on he points to an exotic bird hiding behind the bushes.

The path to the main bird-watching tower, which takes about an hour to reach, used to be farmland, he explains. But since the villagers began earning a living from tourists, some 6,000 hectares have been reforested.

From everything he tells you about the plants and birds in the forest, you might get the impression Conwachi has a doctorate in biology and has researched the Amazon for years. But the truth is he was a simple farmer before.

Read on in The Tico Times

Zonsondergang Amazone

Up the Amazon River in a cargo boat

Published in The Tico Times on December 19th, 2015

IQUITOS, Peru — We have to get our entrance stamp for Peru before the office closes at 5 p.m. The cargo boat is scheduled to leave for Iquitos at around 8 p.m., so we have some time to kill in the little port of Santa Rosa. It’s basically a row of wooden shacks with corrugated iron roofs by the Amazon River.

Workers load kilos and kilos of fish into a container with ice. It must be hard work for them under the blazing sun and in this Amazonian heat and humidity. Their shirts are soaked with sweat.

We sit down for a beer and watch the sky above the jungle turn purple and red. Smoke rises from the houses between the hazy jungle growth, and when the sun sets we see lights switch on, on the Colombian side of the river in Leticia. This is the point in the Amazon jungle where the three countries Brazil, Colombia and Peru come together. From here, you can go by boat to the east, into Brazil towards Manaus, or like us, you can move against the current into Peru, to Iquitos.

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