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lunes, febrero 01, 2010

Peru: The Devastation Continues, The US Traditional Media Ignore It

Devastation in Peru continues. Today's La Republica reports the bad news:
Intense Rains Leave More than 100,000 Affected

The prolonged rainfall that fell on the southeastern Andes Sunday night left over 100 thousand people affected, with particular intensity in the Cusco region, regional authorities reported.

The regional president of Cusco, Hugo Gonzales, told the AP that on Sunday the rains had left "more than 60 thousand people affected, seven thousand homes destroyed, 17 thousand hectares of crops affected and so far 14 bridges that may collapse from being in poor condition.

Gonzales said that "losses translate into almost $ 250 million dollars and that tourism, the largest employer in the region is losing almost a million dollars a day, which is aggravated by the isolation of Machu Picchu from tourists.
(translation by me)

The report from Puno, to the Southeast, is particularly disturbing:
the rains left "more than 22 thousand farmers affected, 23 million acres of crops worthless, and 25 thousand dead cattle including llamas and vicunas."

But if you're not going to read Peruvian newspapers on line, you won't know much about this disaster. If you're in the US, just try a Google news search for "Peru floods" and see what it turns up. Right now the top story is from Brunei. And that's one of the very few entries from today. The rest concern rescuing tourists at the end of last week, some first person tourist stories about being rescued, and the thinnest of reports from Saturday and Sunday.

Long story short, the traditional US media just aren't reporting about this disaster. And they are apparently not going to. That makes it harder to get contributions and other aid from the US for Peru's relief. And it also continues the extremely distorted way the US traditional media cover events in this hemisphere.

If we want to end this embargo on news, if we want others in the US to know what's going on in Peru, the only thing I can think of is writing essays like this one and this one and this one. And if you, dear reader, would consider doing the same, writing an essay, we might be able eventually to overcome the enforced silence and bring US attention to the devastation in Peru. And to other events in this hemisphere as well.

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