You are here

Peru: economy, politics and culture of mysterious land of Incas

Peru may well be another country where an embassy of Belarus may open. This is only my guess, but I think Peru is one of the most important countries in Latin America and the former Spanish colony, by the way. Many Peruvians associate achievements with the introduction of European culture and European technologies. But let's not forget that Indians had achieved fantastic successes before that - thousands of years ago, they already knew how to make cranial trepanation. Europeans did not even wash at those times. Many mysteries of civilizations inhabiting Peru are still not unraveled. And Belarus has not yet mastered this huge promising market.

But first, in order to learn the country, it is necessary to see it. You now have a perfect chance to watch a movie about Peru in Picture of the World.

Pigeons on squares are not afraid of people, just like in Barcelona or Venice. But vultures on cathedral crosses and pelicans on the waterfront suggest that we are not in Europe. The capital of Peru - Lima - is one of the main economic centers of South America. Here poverty and luxury, modernity and history coexist without conflicts.

Latin American countries are diverse, but their history is very similar. It is enough to go to the historical center of Lima and you will see the residence of the President of Peru, which was once home of colonizer Pizarro.

Originally the palace of the founder of Lima looked different, but anyway it stood at the same place. The ashes of the Spanish governor Pizarro rest nearby, in the Cathedral. The main churches of Lima belong to Roman Catholic faith.

Carlos Velasco Mendiola, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Peru to the Russian Federation with concurrent accreditation in the Republic of Belarus:
Spain gave us language we speak. It gave us religion, which in the XIX century served as a rallying point of all the countries of the continent in the struggle for independence. The arrival of Europeans contributed to the development of not just Peru but the entire South America.

But the mysteries of the ruined Inca empire remain unresolved: from smoke telegraph allowing Indians to transmit news to a distance of 3,000km to astronomical observatories in the mountains. Who taught the Indians it all?

Edmundo Francisco Rebaza Bardon, Assistant Minister of Education of the Republic of Peru on Youth Affairs (1980-1982):
This is a ritual knife tumi and on the handle you see the God of the Incas. It is said that he was an alien, because he has wings and in appearance he is similar to an astronaut.

There is no explanation of the lines in the Nazca desert, which are called "runways of aliens."

These pyramids were built during the time of Ichma culture. These Indians lived a thousand years before the Incas and here all over the place you can see traces of Indian history. Every Peruvian is thought to have that Indian blood.

Two Peruvian presidents of the XXI century have Indian roots. Politicians and ordinary people are concerned about the fate of the Aborigines.

Svetlana Bragina, resident of Lima:
The first problem is health, the second is education. They are very poor, they live very primitive life. They don't get assistance, including from the state. Lands in the jungle belong only to Indian tribes. There were even extreme cases. If the offense is committed by an Indian, it is almost impossible to put him into prison, because it is considered that the level of their development and decision-making is like that of children.

We met this Indian in the suburbs of Lima. In search of a better life, he moved from the jungle to the city.

Raimundo Fasabi, Indian tribe Chipivo:
In Lima, there are many of "our brothers." Here we find a job, we start living. And in the jungle you simply have to survive.

Now his name is Spanish - Raimundo. He is a domestic worker, to put it simply, a servant, though he believes himself to be the master of these lands.

Raimundo Fasabi:
We, the Indians, are true masters of Peru. We were born here and we lived here from the beginning.

Modern Peruvians share the ideas of gender equality.

Olga Gonzalez, owner of the restaurant:
Previously, there was a machismo, so only men could work. But times have changed, today women are engaged even in business.

However, in some areas of Lima, real matriarchate reigns. For example, at this gas station, women in light green dress are the key staff.

But traditions do not change suddenly.

Yulia Konycheva, resident of Lima:
In general, they consider themselves to be machos. A baby constantly hears from his mother: "You are my macho, you're in charge." And she forces his sister to do his bed, to serve. Accordingly, it goes from the family: the girl knows she must serve the man and the boy knows that women should wait on him.

However, Peru is one of the countries with the highest violence rates against women.

A resident of Lima:
In our country, court verdicts in cases of violence against women are often not in our favor. It's time for all of us to stand up and claim our rights. We are a big country, strong country. And why do we have to put up with being a country with the third highest rate of violence against women?

The current head of state - Pedro Pablo Kuczynski - does not have anything to do with Eastern Europe in spite of the typical surname. But we did meet some Belarusians in Peru. Svetlana has been living in Peru for 20 years.

Svetlana Bragina, a resident of Lima:
I have a passport of Belarus, I am a citizen of Belarus. For 20 years I've lived in Peru, and has not changed my passport. The thing is that if I was to get the Peruvian nationality, it must abandon the Belarusian one, which I did not want to. How many citizens of Belarus live in Peru? I think 600 people. Immigrants from Belarus included. As a rule, we meet with Russians, Ukrainians. We still have a world outlook similar to those of former Soviet nations.

Peru is a potato country. And this, incidentally, is the only thing that unites Peru with Belarus.

This is a potato market in Lima. Of the 5,000 potato varieties known to the world, 3,000 are grown in Peru. The cost of the Peruvian potatoes is comparable to that in Belarus, about $0.2 per 1kg.

Edmundo Francisco Rebaza Bardon, Assistant Minister of Education of the Republic of Peru on Youth Affairs (1980-1982):
Potato was one of the main products of the culture Quechua, the Inca Empire. We can say that this is our symbol.

The most famous symbol of Peru, however, is a city in the clouds, sometimes called "the lost city of the Incas" - Machu Picchu.

Yulia Konycheva, a resident of Lima:
I've been there several times. And every time I fly there, and I can say that it is worth spending the money, it is worth buying that incredibly expensive ticket. Stunning archaeological sites and cultural values, which don't have price, I think.

100,000 archaeological sites in the country are visited by tourists, which is complimented by ecotourism, beaches and gastronomic tourism. Peru's tourism industry in terms of income is second only to fishing and mining.

Carlos Velasco Mendiola, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Peru to the Russian Federation with concurrent accreditation in the Republic of Belarus:
The mining industry provides 7-8% of the national GDP. We are the world's second largest exporters of copper and silver. In our bowels are gold, zinc, and lead. We need new machinery for the implementation of new mining projects.

During the Soviet era, Peru bought BelAZ trucks and MTZ tractors. But today, Belarusians need to enter this market again.

Svetlana Bragina, a resident of Lima:
I would like to see Belarusian equipment here, because it just fits, especially mine machinery.

Pavel Pustovoi, head of Latin America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
One of the leading exporting companies - a known manufacturer of mining equipment, Belarusian Automobile Plant - has repeatedly sent representatives to negotiate in Peru. And now we are working out the possibility of concluding contracts for the supply of Belarusian equipment.

Svetlana Bragina, a resident of Lima:
For 10 years, we've been supplying Belarusian vodka to Peru. It is in demand thanks to good quality. And we will continue to work with this product.

Recently, Peru has been among the world's leaders in fishing. But they have overdone a bit and now overfishing problem has arisen. Another attack was El Niño. The "baby" tickles the nerves of anchovies, sardines, and of course fishermen.

Near the coast of Peru, there is cold Peruvian current, but when El Niño begins, warm water from the equator pushes cold water and krill rises from the bottom and dies. For fishermen, this means a very bad season.

Chicharrones is the national dish of Peru. Pork cracklings are prepared in boiling oil. Generally, Peruvians love their cuisine. They even have a day called National Ceviche Day. This is the day of a fish dish. Peruvians even eat Guinea pigs.

Svetlana Bragina, a resident of Lima:
Guinea pigs are eaten here. If you search for photos on the Internet, they are fried. I have not tasted it, because I had a guinea pig at home in childhood. For me this is a pet. Therefore, I cannot eat it.

Let's see how ceviche is cooked in a small restaurant. In Belarus, we would simply fry crucian carps but in Peru, this is not that simple. Take fish, seafood, squeeze lime to marinate fish. Add garlic, even more of it. Garlic is the root of gods, it drives away many diseases, increases male potency, cures colds and kills germs. A little grass. And of course add onions.

Peruvians are sports people. To understand this, it is enough to go to the beach in the morning. This is a safe district - Miraflores. Peace and high quality of life are evident. But this is not everywhere in Lima.

Here is a poor district, where even police is afraid of local gangs. In principle, even white people of Peru do not come here because you can definitely say goodbye to your phone and money.

Carlos Velasco Mendiola, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Peru to the Russian Federation with concurrent accreditation in the Republic of Belarus:
There are dangerous areas in the suburbs of Lima and other cities. There are criminal gangs and kidnappers there. They use drugs and do not realize what they are doing. People are afraid, and criminals take advantage of this to rob and attack even the poor people out of their own neighborhoods.

Evita Benitez, a resident of Lima:
Many people have only what they wear, this is all their property. We sell goods here but it is not safe. I collect rags, mend them and resell. Here it is like in India: people have four children and more, and nothing to eat. There is nothing to eat, literally.

Human life here is not worth anything.

Evita Benitez, a resident of Lima:
When a person dies, the family sells the deceased's body for organs for about $100.

A few years ago, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we visited the famous favela Rocinha, where, drug lords coexist with the poor. Drugs is a tradable commodity in the Peruvian slums too. And addicts are often met here.

Peruvian:
We are constantly told that we would be kicked away. They've been threatening for several years. So our one foot here and the other is outside. We settled here illegally.

If you do not enter these especially dangerous places, you can safely stay in Lima and Peru as a whole.

The land of the Incas is mysterious, dangerous and attractive at the same time.

Peru: economy, politics and culture of mysterious land of Incas