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Many people who know me have little or no knowledge of what I am about to write about, some people actually don’t even know where Peru is or let alone what happened in Peru. Everyone right know is focused on the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the term “terrorist” has pretty much become …   Read More

Many people who know me have little or no knowledge of what I am about to write about, some people actually don’t even know where Peru is or let alone what happened in Peru. Everyone right know is focused on the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the term “terrorist” has pretty much become associated with any type of Muslim extremist these days, more so with the Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria. Back in the 1980s and and 1990s, the word “terrorist” was pretty much part of the vocabulary in Peru when referring to any of the groups which opposed the status quo. Namely, there were two groups, the Shining Path and the MRTA, each of which relied on an specific ideology.

alberto-fujimori
In April 2009, Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings of scores of people.

The result of years of upheavals and the adoption of communist and revolutionary ideals led to a civil war that lasted well over 30 years. I was born in the middle of it all, only reaching its peak in the 1990s when Peruvians experienced the height of the carnage that included induced black outs, bombings, bullets on the streets and pretty much marshal law at times. These were the times where the military forces would basically kidnap youngsters off the streets to enlist them to fight the “war on terror.” The dictator of the time, Alberto Fujimori, ruthless leader responsible for the deaths of hundreds and for the imprisonment of countless innocent others, including journalists whose only crime was write opposing ideas about the regime. During the civil war, there were a lot challenges growing up in Peru. Everyone would have some idea that Peru is a developing country, therefore there are a few limitations already when it comes to daily living conditions. Now you add to that a civil war, then things start to get very crude. Not only you can expect all of the extend of what you would know as a war, but also you get experience harsh living conditions at times when you cannot even find the most basic necessities like water, sugar, salt, bread, electricity or other needs. Such difficult times do leave something with you, it does shape you see the world, you learn to value relative piece and security. You also understand how lucky you are to have food on your table or a light to do your homework. I spent many nights completing my work in candle light and when I was done with it, I would give myself some leisure time to listen to radio programs through our battery operated stereo. In 2005, a documentary came out called The Fall of Fujimori (2005), detailing some of the actions by the dictator, should you be interested in learning more, you can watch this, here is the trailer:

When the streets are dark and when people are desperate, it is unfortunate that many result to committing crimes, including murders. These experiences do help you appreciate life itself, the many of the petty things we get caught up on these days are mere but silly things, what do we worry about, whether our internet connection is not fast enough, or whether we have the biggest fastest smartphone or how good is our car. The silly arguments we engage in for the most ridiculous reasons are just unnecessary. The type of hardships I have faced as I  tried to explain are the kind of reality of millions today across different parts of the worlds and for similar and diverse reasons. Let’s try to empathize with them and remember for a second how lucky we really are.

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