By Edgar van de Zilver and Marcel van Tol
Peru has a long history of corrupt politicians and presidents.
The fact that the Peruvian people have generally not received much education plays into the hands of corrupt politicians. After all, promise a lot, give little, makes the fool live in joy.
However, there has been a trend reversal in the last few years. Corrupt incumbent or resigned politicians and presidents have been placed under heavy investigation procedures and many are on remand or have already been convicted.
More than 4 years ago, Pedro Pablo Kuzcynski (PPK he is called here) was elected president with a very narrow majority. A wise and honest man, so (b) it seemed.
He won the election of Keiko Fujimori, daughter of Alberto Fujimori, a former president convicted of corruption, abuse of power and crimes against humanity. The chance that he will leave prison alive is quite small.
His daughter Keiko is also under many legal investigations and she is also facing a long prison sentence, because the evidence against her is piling up.
However, Kuzcynski was soon impeached, an action organized by Keiko Fujimori's party. Kuzcynski was impeached for alleged corruption, but little evidence of this has been found to date.
PPK was succeeded by Martin Vizcarra, the vice president. Also a wise and honest man (engineer and entrepreneur), who continued and even expanded the policies of his predecessor, fighting against corruption. He has also presented a plan to congress to proceed with structural, far-reaching, political reforms.
That is why he too was opposed in every way by the Congress, where 'the Fujimorists' had a majority. In fact, the backlash was so bad that Vizcarra eventually dissolved the Congress and called new parliamentary elections in January of this year. However, that has not improved matters. More fragmentation in parliament was the result. Except when it came to enacting anti-corruption laws. Then the parliament was almost unanimous to vote against.
As of September, parliament has already made several attempts to impeach the president.
The impeachment of a president is not new. And this usually happens because the policy pursued is no longer tenable. That the corruption is so great that the whole people vomit such a president and that eventually action is taken.
But here it is just the other way around. President Vizcarra fought against the immense corruption in this country. But let the congressmen aspire to their positions because of the corruption. Once you have conquered that place, you will of course have a generous salary, but that is nothing compared to what you can rake together. Anyone in society who wants to have done something will have to dig deep into their pockets to bribe one or more congressmen and / or ministers. PPK and Vizcarra were fighters against the corrupt system. And that's why the majority of Congress voted out the president. “Because yes, fair and correct, we didn't come here for that… ..”
In Peru there are no demonstrations against the (very strict) corona measures.
That has always surprised us because Peruvians demonstrate against everything they don't like. Often rightly, sometimes wrongly.
Monday and Tuesday, all of Peru was under the spell of massive demonstrations against the corrupt congressmen and against the coup. Bigger and more massive than we have ever seen. Never seen before was the brutal police violence against the protesters. Surely they have copied that from the Netherlands and other Western countries? Because before, the police accompanied the demonstrations and closed the roads to protect the people from Peruvian motorists.
(Peruvians are nice people in their own right, until they get into a car then they turn into complete idiots)
The new self-proclaimed president is Manuel Marino de Lama.
He was previously a cattle dealer from Tumbes (Northern Peru). He finished high school, but his studies afterwards turned out to be too ambitious.
It is necessary for a Peruvian politician to be able to negotiate well and buy yourself in from a political party. As a cattle dealer he was adept at this. We have never been able to catch him in a good political idea or act for the country. He is mainly there for himself and his loved ones, the whole rest and the country itself is a side issue.
Manuel Merino has made clever use of the wishes of other, larger and smaller corrupt groups in parliament. He now works together with these groups who also all want to eat from the rack.
All this to get a president who has done more for the country in more than 2,5 years than the last 3 previous (for PPK) presidents put together.
Vizcarra has committed to many anti-corruption measures. Introducing structural reforms to raise education to a higher level and eradicate corruption and cronyism, which is also rampant here, was a feat. All these (and other) measures have brought him much opposition and even enemies in Congress.
Is Vizcarra itself completely innocent of corruption? Almost certainly not! But did he deserve this impeachment? Certainly not! Just like its predecessor Kuzcynsky.
By the way, Vizcarra had the support of almost 60% of the population so far. That is why what parliament has done does not represent the interests and wishes of the population. (Whats new?) But in their own rooms, different rules apply to them, namely those of self-interest. Such as: How can I get as much money as possible from the state grape with any friends. And the population? It will save itself….
What is going to happen now?
It is almost certain that a number of new laws will now be pushed through that will not be in the interest of the people. In addition, a number of recent laws will be eliminated. In particular that of education reforms and anti-corruption laws.
Another hot topic for corrupt politicians is the abolition of parliamentary immunity. That inviolability will soon be reintroduced.
Another probability is that, under the pretext of the 'corona danger', the upcoming elections will be postponed. The ridiculous thing about this farce is that the regular elections would take place in April 2021. Everything therefore indicates that there are other reasons why they pushed for this deposition. And postponement will come after that.
Inevitably, the result will be that the prosperity that the country has built up over the years will be catapulted back decades. And all this on top of the damage that all corona measures have already caused.
In earlier years Peru was a major producer of cocaine and the Narco dollars involved will undoubtedly entice the 'new leaders' ……
And the ordinary Peruvian?
He has it checked. Like for 200 years. Here, too, the following applies to the plebs: 'Just get out of your mouth'. If you don't feel well you go to a doctor. And if it has undressed you even further, you can drop dead.
It is well known that corruption exists in the world.
Usually these are small shortcuts to avoid any bureaucracy, but in Peru these small roads have become large 6-lane highways where it is incredibly busy.
Without corruption, nothing happens here, and the higher you get up the hierarchy, the worse it is and the bigger the amounts get. Obtaining or avoiding your rights in Peru above all requires a thick wallet. The entire legal system is rotten through and through. From judges, prosecutors to lawyers, they all participate in the big grab. The few honest justice officers swim in a legal bath of thick syrup and drown in a mash of files.
For the last 50 years, Peru has been embroiled in political scandals, one worse than the other. But none of these are as transparent as the latter.
Under the guise of a democratic sauce, the land is again divided and sold here. The population knows, protests, but here too they are powerless.
A saying here goes: the greatest enemy of a Peruvian is another Peruvian!
What the future will bring is extremely uncertain. There is a chance that it will become a new Venezuela. The wealth of the country falls even more into the hands of the mafias and the population is even more empty-handed. This will not cause much controversy internationally. What remains is the sour apple, which the ordinary Peruvian has to keep biting through.
Peru was only a country of significance once in world history. That was in the 16th century, when the Spaniards sent such incredible amounts of gold from Peru to Spain that the entire monetary system of Europe was disrupted at the time.
But perhaps the Peruvians were better off then than they are now. At least then it was clear who the robbers were….
The resemblance between Manuel Marino ...
And Nicolás Maduro…. (dictator and destroyer of Venezuela):
And the “new normal” of the police is that too:
And who are we?
Edgar van de Zilver and Marcel van Tol. We are Dutch who live in Peru and are seriously concerned about the future of this beautiful country.
You can also find more about Peru in the columns
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