Since a very your age I always had a great relationship with the sea. Either by the afternoon sunday walks with my parents by the Lima beaches or by the visits to the beach that was right behind my grand parents home in the UK, or by the games on the beach with little rocks we would throw against the waves, or by my admiration for the Surf world champion, Sofía Mulanovich … all of this took me to love the sea, creation of my creator.
After that I learned that the sea was being threatened; it’s inhabitants, without being consulted were seeing their homes destroyed. Plastic, that every one uses was becoming the daily food of tortoises and other marine animals. I learned a lot about the plastic pollution theme and became a striver for a better society than this consumerist society we live in that does not vale the sea that has given us so much.
But today I felt powerless, it was not the theme of plastic pollution but it was about rocks and big rocks this time. Far from Peru, away from the sea of the Pampilla beach, I could not protest with my fellow citizens.
What happened? You will ask. The city hall in Lima and the mayor of the city (Luis Castañeda Lossio) decided to put a new lane in the road next to the sea (called the “Costa Verde”). It’s one that goes from Callao to Chorrillos (2 extremes of the Lima Capital). It can sometimes be blocked and slow and has been witness to many traffic jams. This road, however, with the cliff on one side (that sometimes crumbles) and the sea on the other, did not seem to be able to be expand.
At least, that is what we all thought.
4 months ago the City authorities started works to add a third lane to this “Costa Verde”. The Mayor of Lima was elected under the motto “He steals but he does works” did what he pleased. Outraged surfers and informed citizens acted fast to prevent the pavement of the track. The hashtagg #YoVoyASalvarLaCostaVerde (I will save the Green Coast) was born and the voices were heard for some time.
Sadly, a few days ago, the peruvian forces arrived to the Pampilla beach to remove swimmers, surfers and citizens so that they could throw rocks and pebbles to the beach so that they could continue with the placement of the road. Renzo Giraldo was there and the pictures he took speak for themselves.
I became speechless seeing this reality.
I remember that the 16th of december of 2014 I sent an e-mail to a family member that drives in the city of Lima. I respect this persons opinion very much and asked them to participate and help the movement of people that were opposed to the paving of this 3rd lane. Here is a bit of his answer:
“Objectively, the wellbeing of millions of citizens of Lima that need to transit by better roads, is move important than those few that make profit on the public road and that prefer the informality and the chaos and untidiness that they create.
Yesterday I was walking along the “green coast” (Costa Verde) where the surfers usually are and I have seen the road and from my perspective it does not affect the sea in the least… but it does affect the informal businesses that they have… anyway… We have to be careful not to be the fools used by informal creoles.
Today my dear friend I must tell you your vision was wrong. Seeing the video posted by “El Comercio” (the biggest newspaper in Peru) is enough to understand that. Or look at this picture taken by Beto Santillán to understand that each wave that reaches the edge of the new road makes the little wall beside it crumble more and more.
The Navy of Peru arrived at the conflict area to show it’s presence. And the Dicapi (“General Direction of captaincy and coastguards of Perú” Acronym in Spanish) said that the placement of the rocks was not authorized.
It would seem that, as it happened when Castañeda (Now nicknamed “Ratañeda”) painted various Lima murals yellow, the mayor will have to present himself in front of a commission the 12th of may to explain these “works” in the “Costa Verde”. Also the OEFA (Organization of Environmental Evaluation and Supervision) has intervened in the matter to avoid more rocks being thrown to the beach.
If you, reader, want to act, you can take yourself down with your car to the Green Coast and park in the 3rd lane. This pacific act can answer to the unfunded act the mayor and his
gang are trying to impose.
A few days after this public outrage the sea spoke up. Pebbles washed onto the road, water came rushing in. Here are some pictures posted in “Costa Verde de Todos” that speak louder than words.
It saddens me to have to write about Lima and my beloved Peru in this way, with indignation and having to be away… Because this is not the only situation that should cause outrage. A few days ago a video where a police man planted a weapon in the hands of a man while he was manifesting. Without this video, the pictures of this “dangerous rioter” posted in the “El Correo” newspaper would not have had counterweight of the reality of what happened.
It is sad to see that these actions and attitudes of certain media prevent people in believing in those that do their job well and inform the society correctly. I hope these lines will have shown a bit of truth. Keep the images in mind, because as they say an image is worth a thousand words.