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Peru: Backtracking towards COP 20

Peru: Backtracking towards COP 20

By Ricardo Jiménez

As in colonial times, when native peoples shared the fate of nature, suffering the same exploitation and looting, the government has argued these measures under the euphemism of "environmental flexibility" to encourage investment, in the same way as the labor “flexibilization” that he argues to annul workers' rights.

Beyond the euphemisms and politically correct speeches, the message is unequivocal. Environmental concern is a reluctantly accepted scenario, which the government considers in itself opposed to economic growth, which in turn stands as an unquestionable truth, which is also sought to legitimize as a solution to poverty, despite the data from reality, as paradoxical as the measures of the host of the next COP.

In 2013, Peru had a macroeconomic growth of 5.2%, ranking fourth among more than thirty Latin American countries (ECLAC, 2014). Contradictorily, according to the INEI's own official figures, this same year poverty increased - yes, you read that correctly, it increased - in eight regions of the country.

Cajamarca, one of the most emblematic of many with serious and persistent environmental conflicts, which include several citizens killed by police repression during this government, is the most impoverished in the country, despite and against the official discourse of investment and growth, since it is in that exact same region where the questioned Yanacocha mining company has been “investing” for more than ten years.

It is not hard to guess that we will probably see future social conflicts increase in Peru. Even more discouraging is that official Peru, from its place as host of COP20, has delivered this objective blow of weakening to the already difficult results that humanity needs and expects from the Conference.

In this sea of ​​paradoxes, it is sad, but also most logical, to recognize the reality that Peru is not moving forward, but literally going backwards, towards COP20.

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