Thousands Of Victims Of The Earthquake Of 2007 Demand Reconstruction

By Dialogo
March 26, 2009

Nearly 3,000 victims of the earthquake that devastated several regions of southern Peru in 2007 marched to Lima to denounce the government’s laziness in reconstructing the affected area. The mayors of Pisco, Chincha and Ica, the towns destroyed by the earthquake, led the march to the Peruvian capital and demanded that the country's President, Alan García, fulfill the financial commitments promised to the 46,000 victims. At a hearing in the Congress of the Republic, the authorities called upon García to implement the works planned in 2007 to rebuild the area, as well as the delivery of bonds worth 6,000 soles (2,000 U.S. dollars) to each of the families affected by the tremor. "The President has to issue emergency decrees to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and implement reconstruction works that are approved and budgeted," claimed the president of the Association of Municipalities of People Affected by the Earthquake (AMUPAT), Lucio Juárez. According to Juarez, only 10 percent of the area has been restored and most of that was due to foreign cooperation. "It is a shame how little interest the state has in restoring this area, and that we have to live on charity from other countries," he added. The President of AMUPAT considered the conditions in which people are living "outrageous. After nearly two years people are still sleeping in tents and children are studying on mats on the floor because they have not rebuilt the schools," he complained. Southern Peru, especially the city of Pisco, was devastated on August 15, 2007 by an earthquake measuring 7.9 degrees on the Richter scale which left 595 dead, over 300 missing, and 75,000 houses destroyed.