Category: Peru

The Violence of the VIP Boxes

English + Español
In Peru, the upper class does not like to mix with those they consider different or inferior. Their maids on the beaches south of Lima are not allowed to swim in club pools and, sometimes, not even in the ocean. The VIP boxes at sports and theater events maintained by the government are a public display of a private practice that reproduces in the public sphere the worst aspect of private hierarchical structuring.

Peace and Reconciliation

English + Español
Eleven years have gone by since the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented its final report. The report reconstructed the history of many cases of massacres, tortures, murders and other serious crimes. At the same time, it contributed an interpretation of the…

I Ask for Justice: Maya Women, Dictators, and Crime in Guatemala, 1898–1944

On May 10, 2013, General Efraín Ríos Montt sat before a packed courtroom in Guatemala City listening to a three-judge panel convict him of genocide and crimes against humanity. The conviction, which mandated an 80-year prison sentence for the octogenarian, followed five weeks of hearings that included testimony by more than 90 survivors from the Ixil region of the department of El Quiché, experts from a range of academic fields, and military officials.

Towards a National Value Proposition

Peru has been one of the most remarkable economic growth stories of the last decade, both compared to its own historic record and to its peers in Latin America and beyond. A combination of sound macroeconomic policies since the mid-1990s and a benevolent international economic environment with growing demand for Peru’s natural resources has allowed the country to prosper.

A Taste of Lima

Each one of us has a grandmother or mother, grandfather or father whose dish—humble or elaborate—transports us back in time or space, surrounds us with people, places, images, languages, and even fragrances of the past. The dish—or the memory of the dish—evokes a smile, or perhaps a tear, and generally seems inimitable by those who share the memory.

Seeking Progress in Twentieth-Century Peru

The year was 1993. My wife Barbara and I had just arrived in Lima, with the intention of working there for two or three years. I had a job in a USAID project, while my wife was part of a World Bank planning group in the Ministry of Education. Peru was just recovering from staggering blows, both economic and political.

A Road Less Traveled By

In mid-1992, Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas were winning. They had Lima under siege. Electricity was erratic, and water even more so. On July 16, their bombs destroyed banks, businesses and an apartment building in the middle-class Lima district of Miraflores, with many innocent lives lost.

Reverse Urbanism

In 1973, eleven-year-old Rita arrived to Lima from Caraz, a town high in the Andes. Her mother used to work at my grandparents’ house in Caraz but sent Rita to stay with my family in Lima. Rita lived in our house for almost 20 years. She raised my brothers and me while finishing high school and then studying at the university.

Construcción de paz en Colombia

On June 15, 2014, Colombians reelected President Juan Manuel Santos for a second term by a six-point margin in one of the most hotly contested elections in recent years. The 2014 presidential election was a de-facto referendum on the country’s peace endeavor.

Peru: Editor’s Letter

I’m long past the point of being a tourist in Peru, although I’ve never lived there. I first arrived by bus in 1977 on an Inter American Press Association fellowship and I’ve been going back ever since. I’ve explored its cities, mountains, jungles, lakes and beaches…

Making a Difference: A Look at Microfinance

I spent ten months working for Natik, a small non-profit organization that supports grassroots organizations around San Cristóbal de las Casas and Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala. One of these projects is a microfinance fund called Veredas…

Fusion and Identity

I grew up far from Lima in Talara in the Piura region, a northern Peruvian city with stunning beaches that just happens to be the westernmost city in all of mainland Peru. The city enjoys an abundance of fish and shellfish, as well as large oil reserves. The International Petroleum Company (IPCo) settled in Talara in the 1950s, and my father (of Swiss-Peruvian descent) worked for this oil company as a geologist.

First Do No Harm

In 1997, I set out with a research team to rural communities in Ayacucho to conduct a needs assessment for Health Net International. Although our focus was on primary health care, it was impossible to ignore the central concern of many women and their loved ones. Something was terribly wrong.

Drizzling Protest

Category: "Peru" Drizzling Protest Why Limeños Don’t Take to the Streets  As any visitor to Lima...

Dismantling the Boom of Peruvian Cuisine

I really enjoy Peruvian food, as much as I like doing research related to it. The fact that in my country cooking crossed from being simply itself to becoming a political and social phenomenon entices me intellectually. Indeed, there is a lot to say about the reasons that drove…

Colonial Shadows: Obstacles For Imagining Community

English + Español
Peru is immersed in a new wave of capitalist modernization; its market has expanded in an extraordinary fashion and social mobility is now possible. However, we are still far from conceptualizing ourselves as a nation or an imagined community, to use Benedict Anderson’s…

Six Young Peruvian Poets

English + Español
The years 1980-1992 marked an electoral democracy in Peru; a period that is a parenthesis between two dictatorships, one military and the other civic-military—but a period strongly affected by bloody civil conflict. Framing this democratic period, two new constitutions (in 1979 and 1993) actually took effect during two dictatorships.

The Polycentric City

English + Español
It’s six in the morning and the combi pulls up to a crowded stop in an outlying community of Lima. Commuters are pushing to get a seat on the small bus, larger than a minivan and almost always jammed, seeking to make the long trip to downtown Lima. Micaela, who works in a…

Political Violence and the Colors of Art

English + Español
Ayacucho is the mecca of Peruvian handicrafts with more than sixty types of crafts, ranging from ceramics to textiles. Historically, this small city, nestled into the mountains of southwestern Peru, has also been the capital of violence and poverty. It is also known as the cradle…

Peruvian Literature

English + Español
With more than sixty languages still in use, each with a rich oral tradition, it’s difficult to talk about a single national body of literature in Peru. From the start, the concepts of nation, modernity and literature have revealed more about the country’s social and cultural lack of…

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