I know, I know. It’s not Friday yet. But, tomorrow sure is. And if you haven’t seen this video already than, you should hop on over to watch it.
If you thought that song was scary then, you are very normal. But, if you found yourself tapping your foot and bobbing your head and screaming, “YES YES YES YES!” Then, I would say you are quite deranged.
Tomorrow is Friday and we are staying indoors all day long. Why? What’s going on? Well, Peruvians sure know how to throw a party, but they might have themselves beat with how they throw a strike.
I posted an article the other day about the strike and what was going on. But don’t worry, I won’t send you to another page. I’ll explain what’s going on here and now. There are two sides to the story, but what matters on both sides is that Alan Garcia (the President of Peru) signed off on a project two or three years ago to start a mine in Ilave (the Aymara capital). The mine is to be on a mountain called La Capilla. Apparently, there is some 320,000,000 grams of silver that can be extracted from the mine along with petroleum. Don’t quote me on that however; that’s what I’ve heard. Three days ago the people of Ilave (the Aymara Nation) is rising up and taking a stand against the government claiming that the mine will contaminate their drinking water and the Lake Titicaca. Horrible, right? Good for them making a statement, right?
Here’s side two. Apparently, this mountain La Capilla is a sacred mountain where the Aymara people make “payments” to Pachamama (mother earth). There are also similar sites here in the city of Peru, only here these three mountains are called “Los Apus.” It is believed that when one is sick they can go to the Apus, or La Capilla and make payment to the mountain and they will be cured. The same goes for farming. By making payments to the mountains the people will be blessed with a fruitful harvest. So, the people don’t want their precious mountain to be touched for fear that they will be cursed and their farms will be left fruitless. But, here’s the true shocker of this side. There are still human sacrifices that are practiced on the mountain in Ilave. What I have been told is that people are kidnapped from parties while drunk and taken to the mountain and sacrificed to Pachamama.
It has been said that the water contamination is merely a smart political move, being that if someone were to complain about their magical mountain being defiled it might be looked upon as mere Folklore and left at that. However, one smart Aymara advised the rest about that and suggested using a different approach, the water.
“Yes water! Mine no!” “Aymaras united will never be conquered!” “Listen Alan! This fight continues!” This is what you hear down in the plaza down the road from our house. There are 22,000 people standing in the plaza protesting and throwing a very large and what is becoming a frightening strike.
Stores are closed all around the main venues. If a protester sees an open store it may result in rocks being thrown into the store or maybe even at its owner. Small corner shops are closed and so is the main central market place. The question is, if this continues to go on like this, how will we get food? With no resolution having been found yet it is becoming the fear that this will not end soon.
There is also no transportation. The same rule applies to stores. If an Aymara sees you driving a motorcycle or car you may get home with a nice sized bump on your noggin.
It seems that the Aymara’s efforts are not calming down. I thought they would have by now. Rather, there has been an increase in their labors toward gaining the attention of the President. There have been two police cars that have been raided and burned, and their attraction to fire spread to actually starting one in a bank! Also, earlier this afternoon, the store Curacao, an appliance store, had been raided. The Aymara have also taken even more ludicrous measures and smashed all the public phones down by the plaza. It is believed that tomorrow they may gain power to shut off all water supplies to the whole city.
The Pastor and his wife both came by this evening and told us the news about what was happening concerning the strike. They also urged us to stay indoors for tomorrow. I suspect that when food sources get low they will let some trucks through if food, but the prices will be jacked-up and it may be scarce.
We need your prayers. Right now we are fine and still comfortable, but if this continues on like it is, it may become a pretty difficult situation. We are not able to work like we would be, because there is no transportation and no one is home.
Striking news! I was literally just told that the Army has just been mandated into the streets to keep order.
I just wanted to let you know exactly what’s going on right now. We are in need of your prayers so we can get back to work and that the city of Puno can come back to peace. This is the first time in the history of Puno that there has been an uprise of this magnitude. Pray that there will be a resolve soon to the problem.