Marco Jean Paul Apaza Gonzales | General Secretary JDN-FEP
April 10, 2021
This April 11, Peruvians will go again to vote for president, congressmen and Andean parliamentarians. The difference is that this year we will celebrate 200 years of the Republic and we are in a deep economic and health crisis (nothing new in our history). In this article, I will address the main aspects of this electoral process in the midst of a terrible pandemic that has claimed more than 55 thousand lives (Source: Ministry of Health of Peru).
In Peru we have always talked about crisis, I have had the opportunity to read the 18 volumes of The History of the Republic of Peru, I can assure you that any historian will agree with me. We are a country of constant crisis, people have always died for absurd reasons, from cold, from hunger, for a cell phone, for a wallet. It is our reality.
What difference is there now? The main one is that the pandemic has democratized pain, with your money you can no longer protect yourself, anyone can die from COVID-19 and there is no clarity in science to address the most critical cases. I believe that the name of the year 2021 should have been called „The year of usury“ because that is what has happened in the sale of oxygen, in intensive care units (ICU). Nothing new in our brittle Republic.
The official figures count 55 thousand deaths from COVID-19, we know that this figure is referential, thousands have died at home, longing for a herbal tea to heal their family member. The precarious education has cost us a lot, almost no Peruvian is clear that he differentiates a virus from a bacterium, they do not know how to treat their patients and they are normally infected. Entire families have disappeared for this reason.
Things are bad, but it has always been like this, we are a country of crisis, we live in the midst of fire as the memes of „This is fine“ ironically refer to. Does anyone believe that if we elect the correct president things will change? I wish it were that easy, choose well and hope that everything works out on its own. But no, it won’t. The fundamental thing in a great transformation is that citizens become aware of their problems and exercise direct political action in the state.
How involved are you in your community? Do you belong to a union, guild or social organization? You are interested in what happened to your neighbor yesterday, you know how many friends have lost a relative, you have contributed something to alleviate their pain. I guess not, we live in a moral crisis, which is more worrying than any other crisis, individualism makes us think of ourselves and no one else. Who can save himself!
There is something that perhaps they have not considered, the pandemic is massive, if your neighbor does not take proper care of himself he will infect you very soon, therefore, public health is essential, it does not matter if you have the best coverage that money can pay, you can still To die. You depend on the health of others, that people know how to take care of themselves. Here is the most important piece of the puzzle, your life depends on the life of the other.
In the midst of this reflection that should lead us to solidarity, thousands of privileged Peruvians have traveled to get vaccinated, including presidential candidates, some authorities and businessmen with much less blood on their faces were vaccinated with samples from clinical trials. Even the quintessential candidate, who was president, is leading the congressional polls. Long live Peru!
This is the policy of neoliberalism, that everyone bring the vaccines and that whoever can be saved, whoever has the money, whoever has power. Others? Well, that’s why more ICU beds are being built, so that we go to die in a collapsed hospital. There will be no shortage of the reseller who offers you an oxygen balloon that lasts 3 hours for 2,300 soles. In other words, each hour of life costs around 750 soles, close to the minimum wage.
This is the way things are, many killed by the terrible management of the pandemic, a suffocated state that cries out for a new administration, a people that will continue to die in the hope that everything will change when the fashionable leader enters. But no, nothing will change if we don’t change, but instead get involved in politics. Let’s abandon the individualism that has cost us thousands of lives and let’s build a new society based on solidarity, that is the great task of the time.
Who to vote for? Vote for whoever you want, but remember that your civic duty does not end with suffrage, we need a huge level of control to contain the great corruption that will not reform itself, that has existed forever and that other generations have not been able to combat. History inevitably advances towards social justice, all roads lead us to change everything, to re-found the Republic, I have no doubts about that.
The elections will pass, new rulers will assume and we will continue our history of decline for 200 more years or we can install a Constituent Assembly so that the great majorities can discuss which country they want and how the state should exercise its sovereignty over natural resources. Foreign powers will leap into the air if we do something like this, the terror of losing their backyard will be channeled into violence, so they have always responded, but have no doubt that we will prevail.
“The best prevail when they truly know how to be the best.“
José Carlos Mariátegui