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for God! "my" Patria! & the coca growers!

category international | history and heritage | news report author Tuesday July 25, 2006 20:19author by iosaf Report this post to the editors

Today those elected to the Peruvian government earlier this year to serve till 2011 must each swear an oath of allegiance. Its part of a series of constitutional rituals which will lead up to the presidential inauguration this coming Friday which is also Peru's national day.

The formula for the oath is very simple - (they often are) - each deputy takes his place in turn & recorded by stenographers and pictured on live TV recites the formula of loyalty. But already some deputies oaths have been rejected :-

The options are . por Díos! = for God! or "for Patria!" or )and this is curious) the names of the founders of the Peruvian democratic political parties. That curiousity arose from a previous all party agreement between party whips who realise many people don't believe in the same God anymore or like to put an ethnic twist in their Patria. But what has now become an issue of certain resonance is "who founds an independent deputy's party"?

Whatever one calls the Peruvian equivalent of "ceann comhairle" or "speaker of the house" has insisted that several deputies have not sworn a proper oath and thus recalled them or else they won't be allowed take their seats. This abstentionist fate also faces one deputy who thought to skip the whole ritual. Martha Acosta Zárate was elected as a nationalist (some say ultra-nationalist) candidate for one of the indiginous regions. {quite conceivably her God and her Patria are different}. But unlike the Northern Ireland assembly, if the Peruvian deputies don't sit because of some divine or national indentity problem - they won't get paid or any office space. "crunch time for the stationery".

One other deputy Cajahuanca Rosales is now causing polemic having sworn (the second time) "por Dios, la Patria, los cocaleros, agricultoras y en contra de quienes traicionan los intereses del pueblo".
Which translates as "for God, Patria, the coca farmers, and agricultural workers and against those who betray the interests of the people".

At the moment this "oath of allegiance" business in teh young Andean democracy doesn't look like sparking a civil war such as it did in the Irish Free State's time. On the contrary most young Peruvians (who tipped me off about this real time story) think its all a bit funny.

& why?

Simply because oaths are undervalued. How many times have people sworn allegiance? sworn to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? to defend liberty?

polemic in Peru:

author by iosafpublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Those deputies (and there are many) who were elected outside of the main parties are arguing that they have every right to swear an oath based on their election manifesto or slogan.

One of those deputies was elected on a platform which owed much to his current state of disability - he lost his hands in an industrial accident. He has just sworn allegiance thus " for God, for Patria, and that no-one break my hands". Peruvian youth is globally stuck to the telly screen.

To a European medieval jurist that would seem perfectly apt up to a point - in factr there were many arguments in medieval Europe as to the true validity of swearing an oath on a lost leg, eye, or arm.
But they were generally allowed - for only the mundane physical part of the body part was thougt to be gone - all would be resurrected whole "later on" "mutat quadratarotundis" This might seem unfair to people with perfectly working hands who think they'd have more to lose swearing an oath on them. Other less theological types will just wonder will this new deputy fight to the best of his abilities for all workers in poor conditions and stretch it from losing limbs to simpler ailments like tendonitis?

author by ipsiphipublication date Sat Apr 28, 2007 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a package which falls short of the classical "enabling act" and about 700 pages short of the "patriot act". But I don't like it nonetheless.

I don't have time (never been able to manage time me) to tell you all about how Garcia was elected all over again - nor how he is now below 50% approval rating. I'll just remind you I told you about Bolivia and the "coca leaf on the shield thing" last week just before Ireland, UK and USA kindly keeping on track recorded big busties. Have your attention lads. Now before we enter into explaining which members of parliament walked out or what a "caudillo" is and whether there are good or bad types (read the BBC report) let's just get something straight. I'm not a coke magnate or cocaine trafficker. I'm doing all this for the little man.

& so are you.

if you can't protest Peru immediately - you could always borrow some dirty nappies and dress up as a cryptosporidium. Act global Think local.

author by ipsipublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 01:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An important update to this thread sees Garcia use his decree powers (currently only 2 of the major coca producing economies are ruled by presidents granted decree powers) mentioned in the last comment. Thus the hopes of a regularisation of alternative coca products (not crack crystals) are stunted in Peru.
interview with a member of APEHCOCA ( in spanish) discussing alternative products which would have had brought so many benefits to cultivators and consumers alike.
here is an explanation of the alternative products in development
here is a pdf (spanish language) from Peru's university on the same subject

good blog link "against narco traffic decriminalise the leaf".

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