Monday, March 28, 2011
by the Colca Specialist
People of all Peru including people of Colca Canyon got very surprised with the controversy produced by Wikileaks.
Peru is a country that is politically unstable and in 2010 there were many conflicts specially in the south part of Peru in Espinar,Cusco where the people is protesting because the inhabitants are against an irrigation project called Majes Siguas II whose irregularities gave origin to the “Water Conflict” that left as a result riots,strikes,and dead strikers.
The worst conflict produced during this government was the one called “Baguazo”.It started in Bagua in the jungle of Peru. The natives were protesting because their land was going to be literally expropriated to be given to a private company.
The strikes started there and as it happens all the time here in Peru, authorities wait for the last moment to solve the problem. The strike turn into a riot and many natives from different ethnic groups join the riot. Pizango was the leader of the group and the strikers using their natural weapons, bows and arrows, javelins and spears fought against the armed policemen.
The result was terrible many natives died and their bodies were thrown to the river to avoid the press to film or to take pictures of the corpses. The casualties were many and many policemen died in combat against the natives. Many policemen bodies were found without organs as if they would have been attack by cannibals. A friend of mine who was a cop from Arequipa was working in the area and he passed away during that conflict. When we saw the news,we wanted to know about his situation and we wer told that he died during the riot. His corpse was sent to Arequipa. Just the upper part of his body arrived to Arequipa. No organs, no lower extremities. No brains. No eyes. The wife and the two children have no father now.
The president sent a group of representatives to negotiate after all this situation happened. The information revealed by Wikileaks revealed important information whose results are going to be seen in the next elections.
There are many documents published by Wikileaks organization, but just a few of them are still available on-line camouflaged in blogs.
Almost all Wikileaks sites were cancelled and blocked by peruvian authorities and there are many Wikileaks sites that are infected with different types if viruses or malware in order to avoid the documents to be seen.
One of the Wikileaks reports reveals information about the personality of the peruvian president Alan García Perez.
The document published in the spanish newspapers “EL PAIS” informs that the peruvian president presents a colossal ego, maniac depressive mental disturbances and bipolar behaviour. For american diplomacy in Perú, Alan Garcia is an arrogant leader who doesnt´t trust in anybody but in himself. Garcia according to the report is a man whose theatrical skills and scene control are outstanding.
Of course there are moments when he closes himself and rejects to have contact with public during several days. He can change opinion abruptly and he can get into the blues the same way.The same happens with its unstable humor.
According to the Wikileaks report there is a discordination between the public and the provate personality of the president.
In public his impresses much with his majestic pose, which is the result of a long term practice in a formal choreographed way.
In private, the president is informal,considerated,friendly and charming. Garcia’s ego is his weak point. His ego blinds him and when that happens he is not able to see the good ideas or the good alternatives coming from others. If he doesn´t control his ego he might be in trouble.
The inform say that Garcia is a man who has survived to several problems and setbacks on his political way. He has survived from personal attacks from opponents within his own political party APRA which is considerated as the most efficient political machine in Peru. Alan Garcia is a master who lives and breathes politics with incredible orator skills. His aparent emotional inestability doesn´t impede him from thinking and expressing him clearly.
Alan Garcia doesn’t have the ambition of changing the world, he doesn´t want to reorder the economical situation of Peru. Neither the political reality of south America. He doesn’t want to create a new socialism. Neither a new Bolivarian man.
He came back as a trusty partner of United States and play and important role in a complicated Southamerica characterized by the populism, periodical strikes, unstable politics and tension. This report was done by Curtis Strubble who was the american ambassador in Peru in 2006.
Elections are coming and in April 10th ,peruvians will decide the destiny of the country through their votes.
In this edition of the Colca Specialist we are publishing one of the top secret documents where we can read about Shining Path Terrorist Group.
Viewing cable 08LIMA196, SHINING PATH": WHAT DOES IT MEAN TODAY? If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs
Reference ID 08LIMA196 Created 2008-02-01 17:05 Released 2010-12-12 21:09 Classification SECRET Origin Embassy Lima
VZCZCXYZ0025PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHPE #0196/01 0321742ZNY SSSSS ZZHP 011742Z FEB 08FM AMEMBASSY LIMATO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7813INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 1913RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 5479RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7752RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 3268RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1032RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ FEB 4728RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 9431RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1726RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 1725RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITYRUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITYRUMIAAA/USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITYS E C R E T LIMA 000196 SIPDIS SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2018 TAGS: PGOV PINR PTER SNAR
PESUBJECT: "SHINING PATH": WHAT DOES IT MEAN TODAY? REF: A. LIMA 2560
Â¶B. LIMA 3707 Â¶C. LIMA 3764 Classified By: CDA James D. Nealon. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). Â¶1. (C) Summary:
The terrorist organization "Shining Path" (Sendero Luminoso or SL) is currently comprised of two distinct groups, according to analysts. One consists largely of long-time SL members and "true believers" in the Maoist ideology who are reportedly working within civic organizations and universities to revitalize the movement. While this group finds fertile ground in Peru's still pervasive poverty, there are intrinsic obstacles to its joining forces with other actors in Peru's anti-systemic opposition.
The second group, itself comprised of two smaller factions, has increasingly involved itself in the drug trade to the exclusion of any political agenda, an evolution akin to that of the FARC in Colombia. While each group separately poses a threat, observers believe that the threat would expand significantly if the two groups reunited. The Government of Peru has a multi-faceted security and civic action plan to end the SL terrorist threat definitively. While there have been some security successes, the plan so far has delivered few tangible civic benefits. End Summary.
Â¶2. (C) The status of Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path -- SL), the Maoist-inspired terrorist group that threatened the viability of the Peruvian state in the late 80s, continues to concern many Peruvians, particularly those with responsibilities for internal defense and security. The capture of SL founder and leader Abimael Guzman in 1992 ended the urgency of the threat but did not definitively eliminate SL from Peru's political landscape.
Not long after Guzman's capture, the organization split into two factions. One favored Guzman's attempts to reach a negotiated political settlement with the government ("Acuerdistas"). The other vowed to continue SL's political and military struggle ("Proseguir"). The core of those seeking a negotiated settlement happened to be imprisoned with Guzman and remain focused on securing his release, while those still on the outside, free from the autocratic leader's immediate influence, began circling in more autonomous political orbits.
Acuerdistas ----------- Â¶3. (S) The current ranks of "Acuerdistas" have been fed largely by prison releases. Hundreds of Sendero's former core members, after completing their sentences, were freed between 2001 and 2007. According to sensitive sources, Guzman, from his prison cell, retains a significant measure of control and influence over this "Acuerdista" coterie, whose principal objective is to negotiate and secure Guzman's eventual release. (Guzman has been sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole or release.
He received an additional life sentence January 2 for his role in the massacre of 69 persons in Ayacucho region in 1980, in addition to 26 assassinations and 14 car bombings in 1980 and 1981.) While observers acknowledge that most former Senderistas released from prison have sought to integrate themselves as ordinary citizens into Peruvian society, they also estimate that several hundred retain their ideological commitments and that 50 or more have the political and organizational experience to fill leadership roles in the movement.
Â¶4. (C) According to some analysts, these leaders are now using their positions in civic organizations and union groups to foment social unrest. One contact told poloffs of a recent community event in Ayacucho during which he sat across the table from known former Senderistas who now work for the teachers' union SUTEP and are involved in regional politics.
Other "Acuerdista" SL members reportedly have resumed their posts as high school and university instructors, where analysts believe they are working below the radar to proselytize new members of student groups supporting Marxist-Leninist-Maoist philosophies (ref A). As an example, some sources refer to the University of San Marcos in Lima -- the oldest and among the largest public universities in Peru -- as a "factory of radicalism" that produces large numbers of semi-educated graduates, typically in "social science," with few prospects for gainful employment.
This pattern is reportedly replicated to varying degrees in other public universities around the country. Recent media reports have highlighted more broadly the return of Sendero elements to places of vulnerability such as rural schools in poor regions, but many of these reports lack specificity, and government officials, including the Minister of Education, have taken issue with them.
Â¶5. (C) Even in the absence of hard evidence, the revitalization of SL is seen by many observers as at least theoretically plausible because the underlying social conditions that facilitated its initial rise remain mostly unchanged. Notwithstanding Peru's much-touted macroeconomic advances of recent years, poverty, marginalization, unemployment and lack of opportunity in general, particularly but not only in Peru's Sierra region such as Ayacucho (the birthplace of SL), remain stubbornly persistent.
According to some analysts, as long as this remains so the country will continue to provide fertile terrain for radical groups. At the same time, however, SL rarely collaborated with mere fellow travelers in radicalism, and often fought bitter and even deadly battles with ideological and political rivals on the left. Many anti-systemic opposition groups, including, for example, Ollanta Humala's Nationalist Party, are sworn enemies of Sendero for this reason.
In a 2007 meeting, Humala told us he opposed violence as a political instrument because had seen the devastation wrought upon Peru by Sendero Luminoso. SL's use of savage and indiscriminate violence, sometimes against whole communities, elicited widespread popular revulsion, a sentiment that remains prevalent today. For this reason, any association with SL can be a kiss of death for groups seeking to forge a political future in Peru's sizable and diverse anti-systemic camp, which often causes them to steer clear.
Proseguir --------- Â¶6. (C) Following Guzman's 1992 capture, the Sendero organization crumbled and authorities swept the countryside in search of its remnats. Those Sendero members who became members of the "Proseguir" group sought refuge separately in two remote areas of the country. One faction -- led by "Comrade Artemio" -- hid in the Upper Huallaga River Valley, primarily in the Huanuco region, the other -- led by "Comrade Alipio" -- in the VRAE (Apurimac and Ene River Valley) in the northern Ayacucho region.
Security officials soon gave up the difficult search, thinking (or hoping) the remnant groups would fade away. During the last 15 years, both groups have clung to survival on the jungle margins, adapting themselves to a political condition characterized by the absence of outside leadership or guidance.
Concretely, this means that each group retained a Maoist veneer and the explicit commitment to continuing the armed struggle while, in practical terms, gradually deepening and expanding their involvement in the drug trade.
Â¶7. (C) In both cases, SL's involvement in the trade began by charging traffickers "protection money" to ensure the safety of their enterprises and cargo. Over time, it expanded across the narcotics chain, and has come to include growing coca, processing coca leaf into cocaine paste and recently -- particularly in the VRAE -- producing refined cocaine hydrochloride. Analysts believe that Alipio's organization, for example, has hundreds of "micro-labs" scattered throughout the VRAE area.
Some observers have remarked on the similarity of this pattern to Colombia's experience with the FARC (ref C).
Â¶8. (S) The VRAE's inaccessibility and virtual absence of any state presence, including security forces, makes it a quasi-ungoverned area dominated by narcotics traffickers. According to many analysts, this is one reason why the VRAE faction of Proseguir appears to be flourishing. (Note: It is also the reason there are no eradication or alternative development programs in the VRAE. End Note.)
While core SL membership there is probably fewer than 100, according to sensitive reports, part-time or contract membership relating to carrying out specific tasks and responsibilities in the narcotics trade may be twice that number. By contrast, observers see Artemio's group in the Upper Huallaga as being on the defensive for the past two years.
At the height of its strength, the Upper Huallaga SL group reportedly numbered approximately 150 militants. Operational successes by government security forces caused the group significant losses in 2007, and authorities claim that Artemio's arrest may be imminent (ref B). If that happens, many analysts predict the remaining SL structure in the Upper Huallaga could collapse.
Efforts to Reunite ------------------ Â¶9. (C) While each of the above groups separately represent varying degrees of immediate and potential threat now (even if nothing like the critical threat to the viability and survival of the Peruvian state that SL did in the late 1980s), observers focused on a worst-case outlook are concerned about their possibly reuniting.
This concern is fueled in part by reports that such a move is afoot. For example, some analysts claim evidence that Guzman's long-time companion and now-wife, Elena Iparraguirre (AKA "Comrade Miriam", also imprisoned), is leading efforts to mend the rift in the Sendero organization.
There were reports in October 2007 that the head of Sendero's Lima Metropolitan Committee, Emilio Robero Mera, had recently traveled to the VRAE to consult with that area's leadership. Perhaps more impactful than anecdotal reports, however, is a larger speculative concern that the combination of Proseguir's narco-dollars and paramilitary capabilities with the Acuerdistas' ideological fervor and political machine could produce a terrorism challenge reminiscent of the 1980s.
(Comment: A reuniting of the two groups or significant reblossoming of the pre-Fujimori SL seems to us unlikely for a number of reasons, among them passage of time, irreconcilable differences and a transformed national and international context. End Comment.)
Comment: GOP Priority to End Terrorism Definitively ----------------------------------------- Â¶10. (C) President Garcia has two priority goals for his second term in office, both relating to resurrecting his reputation from his disastrous first term (85-90). The first goal is to ensure economic stability and growth.
The second is to end definitively Peru's terrorist threat -- a threat widely perceived as having exploded out of control on his first watch. The GOP has laid out a comprehensive plan -- with economic development, social and civil, intelligence, and security components -- to do this. It has a subordinate plan to take on the challenges particular to the VRAE, with similar component elements. But that plan has only been partially implemented, both in geographic and functional terms.
Expanding the presence of the state to emergency zones such as the VRAE and pushing out the benefits of economic growth to impoverished regions such as Ayacucho -- difficult challenges in the best of cases -- have not yet meaningfully happened. In that sense, apart from punctuated operational successes in the Upper Huallaga region, the GOP's plan to eliminate SL from Peru's landscape once and for all has yielded few results so far. NEALON
Monday, March 21, 2011
by the Colca Specialist
Colonial Tours is a travel agency that it is recommended in several travel guidebooks and be sure that if the Colca Specialist pays 500 US to the representatives of these travel guidebooks I would appear in them.
If the Colca Specialist appears one day in one guidebook it would be thanks to the work well done with each one of our clients and not because I payed 500 US to appear in the guidebook.
Well, there are many travel agencies in Arequipa and just a few ones are responsible enough with their clients.
Colonial Tours is a travel agency which has enough experience in these kind of tours in Colca Canyon but it is not the best. There are many complaints against this travel agency which became famous because of car accidents, because of being late all time and because of having poorly paid tour guides who have no insurance, nothing.
What kind of responsible tourism is this that the tour guides are poorly paid and have no insurance?
Now we understand why the tour guides are eager to take their clients to the touristic restaurants in order to get commissions.
There are many tour guides whose English is chaotic and whose knowledge is very poor. It is because the travel agency he or she works with is not responsible enough with their workers. If they are not responsible with their workers you can easily realize that they don´t care about their clients.
If these guys would be properly paid they would have money to improve their languages and update their knowledge. If they would be paid properly they wouldn´t have to travel everyday in order to cover basic needs ,neither to show their bored faces to the clients.
In order to make it in tourism you should have a vocation of service. If you don´t have it is simple: you won´t be successful in this business.
Travel agencies should be responsible with their workers and with the people and the environment of the places you visit. That is called sustainable tourism.
As tourists we should have to be responsible too and we should avoid buying tours to companies that don´t practice sustainable tourism. In that way we would collaborate with the development of the areas we visit.
Another funny thing is to see web page of the different travel agencies in Arequipa. 90 percent of them say that the do social work and that they are involved in volunteering programs. Volunteering programs have to be checked carefully. Lots of lies.
Don´t believe those travel agencies that tell you that tips are included in the tour price because they will never arrive to your guides hands. If you want to tip your tour guide because of the good service provided, do it, but you don´t have to tip in advance.
As part of the propaganda many travel agencies from Arequipa put pictures of children of Colca Canyon who supposedly are being helped with the money from donations ,but when you find out you discover that nothing was done with your donations. The same situation happens in Puno.
Many travel agencies from Puno use donations for their own purposes and the donations never arrive to their destiny. Careful with those mystic associations or travel agencies who are sending fake Incas to United States in order to perform condor sacred dances that are fake,dances that nobody knows, not even the most famous peruvian historians or anthropologists. None of these groups are guaranteed by INC (National Cultural Institute of Peru).
The sacred music they play is the music we hear in restaurants everyday, music that most of Peruvians hate, because the same songs are played in all the touristic restaurants you visit. The fake Incas collect money in order to keep the last inca survivors alive and when you ask their names and surnames both are Spanish! Funny right?
Only an innocent could believe those stories. The donations for the children never arrive to their destiny and with the money obtained they buy cars or motorcycles. The fake Incas are musicians who have a deal with esoteric travel agencies from Puno. Next time I will write more about that with more details. The Colca Specialist became a Mythbuster!
Well, travel guidebooks have to be serious with their job and have to inform their clients properly.
If the clients are complaining against the bad service of a specific company, write to that company you are recommending in your travel guidebook and suggest them to improve their service. By the contrary, the clients will realize that the info provided in the guidebook was wrong and they won´t advice their friends to buy your travel guidebooks.
There are many travel agencies in Arequipa that need to improve their services. In the internet you can find all the information about them and there are a lot of complaints against Colonial Tours in web pages and blogs done in english and Spanish languages. Colonial Tours needs to improve its service quality and to solve its problems with its workers in order to be a good responsible travel agency from Arequipa.
If a worker has a problem,the company has a problem too. If the workers don´t work properly the clients satisfaction will be affected and your business can go bankrupt the less expected moment.
Is Trip Advisor reliable enough? I don´t think so.
The Colca Specialist.