Cusco Regional Strike Could Soon Re-emerge Even Worse

20 April – Cusco’s regional strike came to a close yesterday as streets in the city began to reopen even earlier than planned. (This is often the case in strikes in Peru.) Interestingly, buses companies began operating on the second day in complaint of taxi drivers not participating and still earning money.

The government signed agreements with the striking associations to hold more meetings this week and President Castillo had committed to coming to the region on Friday, but organizers are saying that there must be concrete actions from the administration or an indefinite strike will be called for Monday, 25 April.

The president of the Cámara de Comercio de Cusco (Cusco Chamber of Commerce), Edy Cuellar, said that according to the Cusco Chamber Business Studies Center, the total impact of economic losses from the 48-hour stop in the region would reach 100 million soles. Hardest hit were the micro and small businesses which comprise about 95% of the region’s tourism sector.

Protesters are demanding:

  1. Concrete measures against the increase in food costs.
  2. The implementation of a second agrarian reform which was promised by President Castillo as a major part of his campaign. This is a major grievance in the region (which gave Castillo massive electoral support) as nothing has been done by the administration so far.
  3. A review of the Camisea gas and PeruRail railroad contracts — another unfulfilled campaign promise.
  4. The possibility of refloating the southern gas pipeline.
  5. More jobs should be generated in the region, that citizens be properly attended to in public health, and that an honest fight against corruption be established.
  6. The implementation of a constituent assembly to work towards a new constitution..

According to Walter Torres, secretary of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Agrarian Federation of Cusco (Fartac), there is no progress on even one of the six points.

“For this reason,” said Torres, “we have asked to consign the requests with the ministers, each one with its respective topic. We will also request concrete progress on the second agrarian reform….We are clear about things. If there is no solution, we will go into an indefinite strike on Monday.”

[The problem, of course, is that the administration so far has shown little, if any, capacity to deal with the various crises that are plaguing Peru at this time and the populace has little trust. If Castillo fails to show up as promised, expect an even stronger strike across the region that could last for much longer. In talking with various people across multiple economic sectors in Cusco, there is an almost universal belief that the Castillo administration is incapable to dealing with the problems the country is facing.]

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6 thoughts on “Cusco Regional Strike Could Soon Re-emerge Even Worse”

    1. You’re welcome. Though I don’t do many blog posts, I’m covering what’s happening in the news pages every day. I don’t see things getting better and a bigger strike on Monday is almost expected. (I hope I’m wrong about that.)

  1. Wow. I sure hope that there will be some credible response from Castillo and that an additional strike will be averted.

    1. I have a feeling they won’t do much, if anything. The incompetence of the Castillo administration runs so deep. The fact that he has ignored some of his most important campaign promises like the Second Agrarian Reform is extremely unpopular here. Tourists and most expats have no idea of the real underlying issues in the region and across the country.

  2. Where the first 5 demands seem credible, I wonder if, indeed, the Cusquenos are ACTUALLY concerned or even seriously thinking and talking about a new constitution.
    This has been mostly Peru Libre’s agenda from the beginning; and not by “the pueblo”. Most of Castillo’s original electorate base (apart from the PL party, itself) probably have little interest, legal and/or technological understanding, or empathy with the current administration to fight for a change to the Constitution. Yet the official word from the party and ministers is that this is “what the pueblo wants”.
    As for the Agrarian Reform, this is long overdue. The push to sell more artificial fertilizers, and now at even higher prices, is very aggravating to the agrarian sector overall. The sectors needs roads to get agricultural products to market, vehicles to facilitate farmers to get their products to market without the costly middlemen, moderately priced water for irrigation, keeping corporate agribusinesses from dominating the sector, tax reforms, and strategies that address climate change which has brought unknown viruses (potatoes) that make production more difficult…

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