Coronavirus – Peru, the exodus on foot of the unemployed. “Here people decide whether to starve or die”


“People are running away from the capital on foot File, from big cities like Chimbote, Chiclayo and Trujillo. They have to decide whether to starve or to die from the virus. This is why on the Pan-American road there are rows and rows of people who desperately want to go home on the Sierrabecause they lost their jobs in the city “. Federico Rigon is an engineer from Vicenza Schio who has lived in for nearly thirty years South America, in one of the humanitarian bases of theOperation Mato Grosso, the international voluntary organization founded by the Salesian father Ugo De Censi, disappeared a few years ago. It is a dramatic testimony that bounces in Italy in the form of a letter and a movie showing the very serious effects of COVID-19 on the Andean population, which literally suffers from hunger.

The Peru, with 247 thousand infected, is the second South American country by spread of the Coronavirus, although 7660 victims so far. A figure attributable to the average age of the population, more young compared to European countries. In first place is the Brazil with over one million infected and more than 49 thousand dead, the third on Chile with 231 thousand infected, while in Central America Mexico has about 170,000 patients, but beyond 20 thousand dead. Healthcare facilities are unable to cope with one growth that does not stop.

Shilla, where we live – he says Federico Rigon– is a village at 3000 meters above sea level Huascaran, a very nice top of the Cordillera Blanca. We have been in quarantine for three months and it seems that we will stay until September. The positive cases of Covid are increasingly on the rise, especially in File is Chimbote. This is why people are running away on foot, also because they have lost their job sellers street or stevedores in the markets. The situation is dramatic and hospitals now only accept emergencies“.

A movie, accompanied by photos, shows the work of the volunteers Italians who in Italy can count on 150 support groups of theOperation Mato Grosso: “The biggest problem people face is the lack of food. In the past week they have arrived in parish families and the elderly to ask for help. We are trying to give everyone something. We still have some pasta while we have to buy rice, sugar and flour in bags of 50 kilos. We had to leave all the people at home they worked here with us. Workers, cooks, the baker, the cheesemaker. To help them too, we are giving food: this seems to us the most concrete way to do it charity. When we deliver i packageshouse by house, the many ‘gracias’ touched by the gratitude of the people who receive this gift in order to survive a few days are striking. ” The situation is generalized. “I tell the little one pueblo of Shilla, but the need must multiply for all the missions we have here in Peru, about 70. In particular a Chimbote, on the coast, where the situation is certainly more difficult also because it is a city of 350 thousand registered inhabitants, with many people living in the shacks“.

In Peru a real exodus is underway. The Peruvians who had left the Selva area, in Amazon, or from Sierra, they try to go home. But the movement with motor vehicles is blocked because the accesses to the countries are closed by chains, to avoid movements. And so people set off, using it roads is highways free of traffic. The reports they bounce in Italy especially thanks to the voice of many volunteers is missionaries of the most diverse congregations asking for help.

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