Jun

11

Local communities began what they call an “indefinite strike” throughout the Peruvian Amazon region to protest the Peruvian Congress’ failure to review six government decrees that endanger the rights of indigenous peoples. These decrees [are related to the recent] Agreement signed with the United States. Press release from The World Rainforest Movement.

The story on the Peru strike finds me in the mix. Today is that strike day, and last night at sunset I illegally walked past the Bolivian immigration hut to the Peru border to find the Puno, Peru bus station effectively shut by the country blockade. Tourists refused to budge. Peruvians rolled like pears bumping into each other and asking each other what to do. I organized a scab taxi driver with four others for an eight hour night drive through the high Andes to Cuzco of Machu Pichu fame. All transportation in the country was supposed to stop at midnight, and at that juncture our road was blocked by boulders strewn before a bridge manned by irate Indians, and a quarter mile thread of vehicles waiting at 12k ft. in 35F for the strike to end in 24 hours. People wandered the remote highway like zombies until a shivering hombre offered an alternative mountain route he claimed he knew like the bottom of his feet for a free ride to Cuzco. So our overloaded taxi climbed a rutted track and under an ancient four ft thick arch, got lost in ruins, our guide tumbled out and read the stars, and two hours later we descended beyond the blockade. That puts me now in a little pueblo south of Cuzco where citizens earlier today marched shouting protests in the streets, the bus station at whose Internet I now sit at was shut, however reopened a couple hours ago at 8pm for business as usual. Can you hear the announcement for the impending departure to Lima on the Pacific. Tomorrow morn i catch a northeast bus off this cold majestic roof of the world to the steamy Amazon jungle.


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