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Things settling down?

Today at lunch, the restaurant had the news tuned into the session of Congress dealing with the volatile situation taking place in the Amazon regions of Peru. This news has grabbed everyone's attention because of the violent situation that developed last Friday because of the confrontation between the police and the natives (see my last post , here and here). We have heard the roads are clear thanks to the patrol of the army. On the way home this evening we saw tanker trucks (petrol) coming from the direction of Yurimaguas (apparently, they are letting traffic through on both ends now!) and the streetlights even came on! yay! Life seems to be settling down a bit. But at no small price.

Here are a couple links to the situation on MSNBC.com describing how our situation stands politically:
Amazon Indians challenge Peru over land
Deadly Amazon clashes roil Peru
These stories follow pretty true to reality.

My own summary: The government has made mistakes, but neither are the natives without guilt. Both sides are have committed grave errors costing lives. This is a big deal, and permanent resolution seems remote. Neither side is very willing to concede anything to the other. I don't really specialize in analysis of these kinds of things, even though we have our share of opinions. We can see a little of both sides. The natives have a right to land, and that right ought to be established and protected. The government ought to seek progress and the responsible development of natural resources form a big part of that. Needless to say, there is serious division all over the country, and people have taken sides, knowledgeably or not.

It's complicated - I'm certainly glad I'm not a politician. As of this writing, the gov't has suspended the laws that have outraged the natives. We'll see what happens next.

I mourn for the souls whose earthly lives were cut short, and for their families that will miss them. In comparison to what people experience daily in the Middle East, this is nothing. Yet, for us, it is unexpected and new. I'm pretty confident that there probably will not be any more bloodshed for some time. I think it was a big shock to the whole country. Rightfully so.

And of course, we're hoping that the road can stay clear for the next several months so that we can get to and from Trujillo a couple of more times by car. Who would've thought that this would be our reality several months ago when we came here?! Well, of course... God did. :) We can rest in that!

Note: All photos courtesy larepulica.com


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