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ALERT call to the world: please pay attention to #Peru elections today #5J #eleccionesPeru

June 5, 2011

Our Pachamama is calling

Photos AP / Getty Images

Ollanta Humala is the favorite to win Peru’s elections today, but there is a high probability of an electoral fraud. We need pay close attention to what happens today in Peru.

Dear friends and friends of friends. For over 4 years I have been blogging about Peru, its cultures, politics, its ups and downs, and its drama! I’ve done this very personal effort, even when it meant my economic debacle. I did it to create awareness of a much needed and upcoming process of change in Peru.

And that day has arrived.

The world needs to pay attention to Peru, because today is the most important election of our recent history. Ever since the European contact, the people of Peru and their descendants have lived in continuous division and competition, it’s an unresolved nation, a country that you either love or hate.

Peru is a much divided nation, racially and by class. Not as much as culturally, since the food and sometimes the music and dances, get most Peruvians closer.

Today in Peru, especially in Lima and because of the elections, there will be lots of hatred and confusion. More than of what we’ve heard of in the last few weeks. There is a deep division in Peru today, between Lima and the northern coast with the southern region in the Andes. These are really two worlds, one is economically more powerful than the other.

Well, the other Peru has awakened and is saying, enough is enough. No, you can’t talk for me anymore. And stop your arrogant views of me. The same people who the Garcia administration had described as the ‘llamas and vicunas’, we are having our say today.

The beauty of this is that for a first time in a long time, Peruvians of all walks of life have joined efforts to stop the most corrupted mafia of our history. The Fujimori-Montesinos clan stole more than $6 billion dollars from the government, they forced indigenous women to get sterilized, yes they forced them! They killed and incarcerated students, labor union leaders, activists, anyone who dared to be different. We lived scared.

In those days, I decided to leave Peru. The woman who attended me at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, didn’t give me the second of her time, she looked at me and said, “ah nahh you can’t get a visa.” When I was leaving I went on to the next window and I told the handsome guy something I don’t remember. I only remember the look in his eyes, he wanted to help me. Later on, I got my plane ticket with the savings of my life and the support of my dearest sister.

Years later, I returned to Peru to bury my father in march of 2000, after he got killed by a military man driving drunk, who intimidated witnesses and cops investigating the case. We never found out who killed my dad. I used to have a deep resentment over Peru, because of this. That hatred killed my soul, it got me into a blurry life where I didn’t know who I was. I was deeply depressed.

Life has many surprises. When I realize how bad mine had gotten, it was a bit late. I became undocumented after overstaying my visa, and started working in really tough jobs. One day I asked myself. Why did I have to leave my country? I started reading, learning things and soon it all made sense.

When I left Peru during the Fujimori years, there was a huge moral and financial crisis. Peruvians were devastated, their souls were ruined. Like mine at that time. I thought I needed to write about it, let my countrymen know that Peru is worth the fight, that we don’t need to accept the current reality as acceptable. I wanted them to understand that we are a very capable people, we can do things, and we get them done.

I applied myself to write about Peru. I was disgusted also at the media manipulation of Lima, so colonialist and racist, really it’s that bad. And the way they control the whole nation!

Today I see it as one of the most historical days in Peru’s history. Our ancestors waited for centuries to see this. We want to finally build a nation where we all can coexist. This is not about money or race, is about equality and justice.

Those Peruvians who support Humala, we do it because we don’t want our indigenous children dying of cold in the Andes, we don’t want our Amazonian brothers and sisters getting shot over corporate interests. We don’t want our elder women as house servants or picking cotton in the field, we don’t want our kids selling drugs in the corners, being abused by cops and criminals in the nicest neighborhoods of Lima.

We want freedom, dignity, true democracy, equality, progress for all.

It won’t be easy. The colonialist mafias with their leaders Alan Garcia, Alberto Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesinos, have prepared an electoral fraud. They will do anything to prevent losing their undeserved privileges. They already used the press, almost all Peruvian media and private pollsters tried to make Humala look as a weak and unpopular candidate. They failed.

For years, the right-wing mafias run nasty campaign ads against Ollanta Humala, a brave man who has fought two wars against the terrorist groups Sendero Luminoso and MRTA. Peruvian conservatives led by Wall Street banker Pedro Kuczinsky, have attacked Humala for six years with a fierce campaign of defamation, where Hugo Chavez was the boogyman, again. They have failed to prove any connections between Humala y Chavez.

These corrupted mafias bought the vote of many poor people in Peru with food and gifts, they used circus-alike shows to convince them to vote for  the daughter of ‘el chino’. But it hasn’t worked. Sources in Peru tell me that Ollanta has a lead of at least by 7 points. But the pollsters owned by the rich, tell about a technical tie. Even the electoral results can be manipulated in corrupted Peru.

Keiko Fujimori is the daughter of the bloody, sick dictator Alberto Fujimori. She denies his crimes, defend them, and is surrounded by the same people who were part of the 1990-2000 dictatorship. Her candidacy was an insult for any Peruvian with dignity. Even conservative writer and Prize Nobel recipient Mario Vargas Llosa protested.

Fujimori also had the vocal support of the right-wing in the U.S. with  Republican party leaders like Rudolf Giuliani, Roger Noriega and Lincoln Diaz Balart, who asked Peruvians to vote for her and “against chavismo”.

This has been a fascinating election that I had blogged about in my other blog, Peruanista. I wasn’t alone. The social media revolution is urban areas of Peru has grown rapidly as a response to the media manipulation and threats to journalists.

Right now, that there is a chance of a big electoral fraud in Peru. It might sound as a conspiracy theory but there are signs that it can happen after the direct intervention of president Alan Garcia in support of Fujimori, human rights abuses and the manipulation of the press.

An electoral fraud is easy to commit in Peru. I lived under the Fujimori dictatorship, and I remember how they stole the elections to later-elected Alejandro Toledo, they did the same to former UN-general secretary Javier Perez de Cuellar.

Today I am asking the world to pay attention to Peru, because at the end of today, we either will have a very happy and triumphant nation, or a country filled with angry people, ready to hurt each other to claim victory. I’m not kidding.

As for me, I am telling about my immigration status, because first I want to tell Peruvians and other migrants here in the U.S, and in our first countries, that I’m not afraid any longer.  I am here in part because of U.S. economic neoliberal policies imposed to Peru during the Fujimori dictatorship, which was supported –and perhaps promoted- by the very White House.

Surely I’m facing shaky times ahead, but I am ready to face the challenge, and I will blog about it perhaps.

This is the time for the people of Peru. It’s the time for all peoples in the world, in Wisconsin or Palestine, in Egypt or China, because we are all awakening, for a better tomorrow.

En la lucha.

Reports of Al Jazeera from Lima:

Buying votes

Photo sent by a reader via Twitter

Keiko Fujimori well-funded campaign run enourmous trucks across Lima, buying preferences with free gifts and food. This clientelism is described in my interview with Harvard political science professor Steven Levitsky, who is in Lima teaching this semester.

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