Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Well, the strike continues and grows in size and intensity. 5,000 more people are arriving very soon from surrounding areas, the problem being I am told they will do WHATEVER is necessary to be heard. In Celendin (a town about 3 hours away), they set the mine offices on fire, although the people are putting it out as we speak. There are plans to burn the offices in Cajamarca which is worrying because they are only located about 3 blocks from where I live. They have a live man tied to a cross as you can see in the photo, obviously I wasn´t that close, I took the photo off of the internet. Yesterday the worse I heard was smashing windscreens and puncturing tires to prevent people from working. Even still, I taught my classes with a significantly reduced number of students. Plus I had to walk to work, obviously César accompanied me, and it was fine. The protest was passive when we passed it. The all President still refuses to call it an emergency situation, for this reason he has not come, nor has he sent any representatives, which is really making everything worse. More roads are blocked today, and we are worried out the new arrivals. Gas is running out, food is running out, and they are threatening to cut the water and electricity, or essentially put us in a situation of total chaos. We have collected water in every possible recipient and César is showering as we speak. We hope they don´t cut the water. It will obviously affect them too, we are all in the sitaution together. The mine has offered to go, but has demanded that the government repay all its inversions in the state which total hundreds of millions of dollars, and the state doesn´t want to do that.
So here we are, waiting to see what happens next, eating cereal with yogurt (milk is very scarce now that all the people who produce it are protesting, and all the trucks have been stopped) and drinking orange juice. Prices are getting higher every hour. But here in our apartment, all is normal. Today, no protesters have passed our house. As to whether I work today, I will play it by ear. If 5,000 people really arrive and this thing turns violent, I am staying in my bedroom with my padlocked door!
On a more positive note I put a photo of me with some children from the workshop.
On facebook there are a couple of pictures of two protests which passed our house yesterday, they were passive except that they forced all the workers who were constructing the building across the street to join their protest.