nature song

Good Friday

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Another night and the internet connection is not even working.

Parades of light and devotion are marking Good Friday in the streets of Puerto Maldonado, Peru. At the same time, calmly and mostly without much panic, people are getting prepared.

I went today to the market in order to stock up for the hostel in which I am staying. The hostel owner has told us to think about 4 days of isolation, but it was just a bet. No one knows. Other people I have met were on their way out of Puerto Maldonado (do not want to see people dead in the streets). Others are sticking to the version of “nothing is going to happen”.

What is the new law about?

I did not manage to get a copy of the law and neither did anyone I have spoken to. Both miners and passer bys have the same ideas about it. The law would force the mining into designated areas. Miners would have to gather together in co operative and have control over the ways they are mining. They would have to perform certain tasks in order to restore the environment they have destroyed (“replant trees after they finish mining” I was told by a local writer, whose brother is a miner), and of course… they would have to pay taxes. No more unofficial mining. No more small independent activities everywhere, and by that I mean that whole villages, placed on the “wrong” part of the map would be left without a source of an income)

None of the 47 people I spoke to disagreed with the idea behind the law, but there is also an agreement that the government cannot drop a law from above and destroy the livelihood of people without changes from the roots.

… and the NGOs… well… “They should have died out long ago” …“They all are corrupt”(said a man who worked independently with NGOs in Madre de Dios for 15 years).. “90% of the money for the projects go to salaries.. Of course everyone is tired of them”

It is 3 AM and the internet is not connecting, there is also no running water. A beautiful lizard is watching me from the window. Big black eyes. Without me seeing it coming she all of a sudden has a fly in her mouth. If I would have been more dedicated to the life of Lizards I would have taken a picture. I am dedicated to the lives of lies though (and ants, of course).

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Written by naturesong

April 3, 2010 at 14:24

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