Tag: peru

David Sirota’s Distant Early Warning About Obama

David Sirota

As far as I know, the very first writer who really nailed Obama was David Sirota, in October, 2007, when he was virtually the only reporter who picked up an item from MSNBC about Obama endorsing FTA-Peru, even though 4,000,000 Peruvian farmers and workers had gone out on a general strike against it, and the “labor and environmental standards” which Obama celebrated were obviously bogus.

And Sirota also reminded dozing progressives and liberals that Obama had been “the keynote speaker at the launch of the Hamilton Project — a Wall Street front group working to drive a wedge between Democrats and organized labor on globalization issues.”

So David Sirota did his due diligence, while the rest of the media recited horse-race trivia from the polls, and here we are.

No mas d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d !!!

On the topic of extra-judicial assassinations of Americans by CIA hit squads, Glenn Greenwald writes:

…government officials often abuse their power and/or err and therefore must prove accusations to be true (with tested evidence) before they’re assumed to be true and the person punished accordingly.

I wonder what he’s talking about.

Veronica Bowers, 35, and her seven-month-old daughter, Charity, were killed when their Cessna was mistaken for a drug plane in 2001…

…A cockpit video tape obtained by ABC News shows how a CIA spotter plane sneaked up behind the Cessna and wrongly identified it as a drug plane. CIA operatives then called in the Peruvian Air Force.

Peru: The Devastation Continues, The US Traditional Media Ignore It

peru floodDevastation in Peru continues.  Today’s La Republica reports the bad news:

Intense Rains Leave More than 100,000 Affected

The prolonged rainfall that fell on the southeastern Andes Sunday night left over 100 thousand people affected, with particular intensity in the Cusco region, regional authorities reported.

The regional president of Cusco, Hugo Gonzales, told the AP that on Sunday the rains had left “more than 60 thousand people affected, seven thousand homes destroyed, 17 thousand hectares of crops affected and so far 14 bridges that may collapse from being in poor condition.

Gonzales said that “losses translate into almost $ 250 million dollars and that tourism, the largest employer in the region is losing almost a million dollars a day, which is aggravated by the isolation of Machu Picchu from tourists.

(translation by me)

The report from Puno, to the Southeast, is particularly disturbing:

the rains left “more than 22 thousand farmers affected, 23 million acres of crops worthless, and 25 thousand dead cattle including llamas and vicunas.”

But if you’re not going to read Peruvian newspapers on line, you won’t know much about this disaster.  If you’re in the US, just try a Google news search for “Peru floods” and see what it turns up.  Right now the top story is from Brunei.  And that’s one of the very few entries from today.  The rest concern rescuing tourists at the end of last week, some first person tourist stories about being rescued, and the thinnest of reports from Saturday and Sunday.

Long story short, the traditional US media just aren’t reporting about this disaster.  And they are apparently not going to.  That makes it harder to get contributions and other aid from the US for Peru’s relief.  And it also continues the extremely distorted way the US traditional media cover events in this hemisphere.

If we want to end this embargo on news, if we want others in the US to know what’s going on in Peru, the only thing I can think of is writing essays like this one and this one and this one.  And if you, dear reader, would consider doing the same, writing an essay, we might be able eventually to overcome the enforced silence and bring US attention to the devastation in Peru.  And to other events in this hemisphere.

Finally, I urge readers to make donations to Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles and daily Kos and Wild Wild Left

Peru: The World Needs To Notice This Disaster

Yesterday, I put up an essay about a natural disaster in Peru.  I wrote about the devastation caused by the rain: flooding, mudslides, loss of homes, loss of crops, deaths, displacement of families.  And I urged that readers make donations to Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross.

Today on reflection I think I underestimated the situation in Peru.  Today I found two videos that capture conditions in the Sacred Valley of Peru so you can see them yourself.  Conditions are even worse than I thought.  Please watch these videos.  And please help me to bring the severity of this disaster to awareness in the U.S.  Peruvians need our help.

The first video:    

Peru’s Natural Disaster

urubamba river flood 2010

The Urubamba River In Flood

This year’s rains have come to Peru.  And the rains have been extremely heavy.  The result has been a washout of crops in the Sacred Valley, which runs from Cusco to Machu Picchu, mudslides that have destroyed houses and other buildings, and flooding.  Peru Rail’s tracks from Cusco to Aguascalientes have been washed out or buried under boulders.  And the bridges across the Urubamba River at Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Urubamba have all been washed out.

Overnight Caption Contest

Saving Pachamama: A Beginning


Don Mariano Quispe Flores

Pachamama, mother earth, Santa Madre Tierra, the earth, the planet is obviously in trouble.  This should by now be obvious.

The Q’ero of Peru, the descendants of the Incas, live in remote villages that are above 14,000 feet above sea level.  They have lived in these areas for hundreds of years. They live above the tree line.  They raise llamas, alpacas, vicunas, and other similar animals, and they grow big kernal maiz (“choclo”) and hundreds of species of potatoes.  And until recently they kept to themselves.  They stayed away from the cities.  And the Government.  And, of course, they kept their understandings of Shamanism and energy medicine to themselves.  They certainly didn’t tell North Americans about it. But then, relatively recently, they noticed the oddest thing, that the glaciers surrounding them were slowly melting.  Slowly becoming smaller.  Slowly disappearing.  And the spiritual teachers in the lineage decided that Q’ero who were healers, who were powerful Shamans, who knew that it was necessary to heal mother earth and her children, would have to go down the mountain and bring out their teachings and carry them across the world.

I spent this past weekend with Q’ero Shaman Don Mariano Quispe Flores at The Abode in New Lebanon, New York, along with some three dozen other shamans.  Don Mariano is 72 years old.  He does not know how to write.  Or to read.  He speaks only Quechua (though he does say a very few words in English and Spanish).  His village in Peru is about an 8 hour bus ride and then a 4 hour walk uphill from Cuzco.  This trip to the United States (he stopped in California and Washington State and Colorado before journeying to the East) was his first trip to the US, though he has been to Europe.  He is a very sweet, gentle, and humble man.  And a powerful, traditional healer.

Because Don Mariano speaks Quechua, his translator sometimes translated first into Spanish, and then someone else translated into English.  This was an incredible gift: I could hear what Don Mariano was saying three times.  No, I didn’t understand the first statements in Quechua, but I could feel and hear his tone of voice, and then it was repeated in both Spanish and English, so the content was repeated.  I’m not going to try to bring you all of Don Mariano’s teachings.

Instead, I bring you this very short essay to tell you something important that you probably already know only too well, just to remind you.

Pachamama, your Mother Earth, Santa Madre Tierra is in trouble and she needs our help and our caring for her.  She needs us to honor her.  And protect her.

This might involve traditional practices, like making offerings (“despachos“) and prayers for the healing of the earth.  It also might involve ceremonies, calling in the power of the Twelve Sacred Mountains (the Apus), the six directions, prayers, and healing thoughts.  These are all important.  But also important, perhaps even more important is our continuing awareness of Pachamama and our actions to take care of her as she takes care of us by feeding us, by giving us water, by providing shelter.

So I have a very simple request.  Please pause now, look up from your screen, go outdoors if you can, and see, if you can, the unbelievable, abundant world surrounding us, the world on which we walk.  Look at Pachamama.  And feel, if you can, in your heart gratitude for all Pachamama provides us.  This gratitude is incredibly important.  It is the beginning point to help the planet.


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Upset about the massacre of Peruvian indigenous people?

Upset about the massacre of Peruvian indigenous people?

Please consider voting at progressive.org to have this question asked at their next Q&A session:

What do you intend to do about the massacre of Peruvian indigenous people?

What do you intend to do regarding the Peruvian Free Trade Agreement which is being used as justification for the massacre indigenous protestors who have been protesting the oil and mining projects in the northern Peruvian province of Bagua.

With the Peruvian Free Trade Agreement as excuse, the Peruvian government is now taking away indigenous rights and creating a threat to the Amazon rainforest by taking away land from indigenous people and allowing that land, rainforest, to be reclassified as agricultural land so that biofuel companies can move in with plantations and to allow oil companies and mining companies to be able to work in the area without having to negotiate or speak to the local communities before using THEIR lands.

How can we stand by and allow this to happen in the name of “free trade?”

If enough people vote for this question, it will be answered on the floor of the House of Representatives by members of the Progressive Caucus live on C-SPAN and also be recorded as part of the official Congressional Record.

Admittedly it’s a small step, but IMO anything that adds visibility to this issue is a good thing.

Peru: In Search Of Arguedas

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


Jose Maria Aguedas (1911-1969) (photo by Jose Gushiken)

I have to begin with Mariategui, the street in Cuzco, Peru, and then the man.

We decided to take a cab to find Don Francisco’s new house in Cuzco, Peru.  He is a Q’ero Shaman.  We wanted to do a shamanic ceremony with him and his wife and eat lunch with them.  We wanted to visit him at his home as he had visited us at ours in the US.  He gave us the address.  He gave us his cell number.  He gave us a land mark. We ended up calling him on the cell phone to say, “We’re parked at the church.  We don’t know where you are.”  He walked down the hill and found us.  Pointing, he said, that street is Mariategui.  That’s where the bus goes into Centro.  That’s where you have to walk.  That’s where the house is.

Did he know who Mariategui was?  Probably not.  I forgot to ask him.  I am quite certain that he never read him.

Please join me in Peru.

Dreaming The World Into Being

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


Q’ero Shamans Don Francisco (l) and Don Humberto (r)

A Q’ero shaman from high in the Peruvian Andes will visit my home in early October to share the wisdom that the Inka Elders have kept alive for thousands of years.  I’m really excited again to welcome to my home my Q’ero spiritual brother, Don Francisco, and Shaman friends from across the US.

Leave The “Uncontacted” People Alone!! (Updated)

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


The “Uncontacted” Village

CNN  has reported that an “uncontacted tribe” has been sited in the Peruvian-Brazilian Amazon.  The story isn’t really surprising:

Researchers have produced aerial photos of jungle dwellers who they say are among the few remaining peoples on Earth who have had no contact with the outside world.

Taken from a small airplane, the photos show men outside thatched communal huts, necks craned upward, pointing bows toward the air in a remote corner of the Amazonian rainforest.

The National Indian Foundation, a government agency in Brazil, published the photos Thursday on its Web site. It tracks “uncontacted tribes” — indigenous groups that are thought to have had no contact with outsiders — and seeks to protect them from encroachment.

More than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide, and about half live in the remote reaches of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru or Brazil, near the recently photographed tribe, according to Survival International, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.

Look at the photo and notice the obvious harmony of the tribe with its environment.  Do they need our help?  Do they need our influence?  Do they need us to be flying over them in our airplanes?  Do they need us to be driving them from where they are?