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Showing posts from June, 2009

Back to Normal (sigh of relief)

Things are back to normal here in Andahuaylas--garbage collection, buses, shopping all day, school in session. Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

Yesterday the garbage truck took the last of the eight bags of garbage that had accumulated during the 13 days of the strike.

The settlement came Tuesday when the Prime Minister Yehude Simon came to Andahuaylas, along with the Minister of Agriculture. Mike and a group of Kausay members and pastors met to pray during the negotiations, as did other Christians throughout the city.

The last night was tense as a group of criminals that had infiltrated into the ranks of the strikers went around the city breaking car windows and robbing drivers. However, 7 pickups with police sharpshooters came in the morning to maintain order and make sure that the rioters had all left. I never saw them on the streets after their arrival, but they were there just in case.

The government met the campesinos' demands to pave the highway and not privatize the…

Strike!

Andahuaylas has been the scene of a 7-day strike now, and the rumors are that the strike will last until next Tuesday. Really strike is not the right word for it, although that is the translation. We would call it a riot or a demonstration.

What has happened is that 10,000 of the poor country farmers, the campesinos, have invaded Andahuaylas and are marching through the streets with sticks, whips, flags, and protest signs. If a business is open, they race at it to beat the owner for not demonstrating solidarity.

Mike was even beaten by one of them--a tiny little old lady who thought when he was unlocking the street door to the apartment he was unlocking a business. Fortunately, she didn't pack much of a punch! He thought someone was tapping him on the shoulder.

The city is paralyzed, with no buses or planes in or out. Several days ago a truce was declared that allows the market to be open from 6 am until 8 am.

So far there has been no major violence or looting. The only vic…