We Are In The Midst Of A Two Day Strike In Iquitos Peru

by Captain Bill

We are in the midst of a two day strike in Iquitos Peru.

A guest post by Simon Bolivar

The political party, Frente Patriotico de Loreto, or Patriotic Front of Loreto, attempted to shut down Iquitos yesterday, and continues to do their best to further ruin the economy of Iquitos today. Nearly all transportation has stopped. The streets are nearly deserted. Most businesses, buses, colectivos, gas stations, and restaurants are closed or empty. Tourists are stranded. The police arrested 15 vandals for destroying property and throwing glass, bricks, and burning tires to stop traffic, and for fighting. This morning two buses were attacked and badly damaged for breaking the strike.

The headline in the local paper, La Region, reads, “The Strike is a Fiasco”. The mayor of Punchana, Joiner Vasquez, says, “The strike was a fiasco, because the Patriotic Front was using the strike for there own interests. No one should stop the people from working because every day they have to work to get the food for their children and families.”

The population of Iquitos did not respond favorably to the call to strike. In the market there were people working and some motocarros were operating, many walked to work. The policemen spent the day clearing the roads of broken glass, burning tires, and garbage piles. Some of the hospitals were working on the emergencies. The flights in and out of the airport were not delayed. The launcha boats were operating as normal.

The Patriotic Front claims the strike was to protest a treaty returning a narrow strip of land from Loreto along the border back to Ecuador. That treaty was signed by President Fujimori several years ago. It was an unpopular treaty here in Loreto but that is old news and it’s difficult to believe it could be the cause of a strike in Iquitos Peru on May 12th and May 13th 2010.

Eloy Pizango Paima, the assessor of the Patriotic Front, says “I am happy that we shut down the educational system from the university to preschool, the transportation system, the stores that closed, the parts of the market that were closed, but I am not happy with the radio and journalists that don’t love or want to defend Loreto, and did not support the strike. We want to plan a stronger strike soon, to mobilize more of the population.

A vocal minority is important in the political process of any community but the vocal minority should not be allowed to shut down the economy of a major city, and cause even their own constituents economic deprivation, in the hope of generating a few headlines and attention. People have enough trouble trying to make a living in Iquitos without an out of power political party adding to the peoples problems for their own political gain. In fact, the Patriotic Front probably looses political popularity every time they try this stunt.

We are in the midst of a two day strike in Iquitos Peru.

A guest post by Simon Bolivar

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