Last July during Lima's Feria del Libro Sarita Cartonera and other members of ALPE were ostracized. After much protest they were allowed back into the Feria. The ordeal can be followed on ALPE's website.
So we scaled the wall of a four story building from its roof and in the pitch dark. Had to hold onto the old iron window fixtures and jump with a little bit of faith, courage, and most of all curiosity. Vasco explained to me that the cartoneros spend the night going through the garbages in the neighborhood searching for cardboard and paper and then they hide what they collect in abandoned buildings until they can come back later with a car to take things away to the recycling centers. Tania told me that children do it too, they collect the metal tabs from soda cans. She also told me that this is more or less a recent occupation in the city, although a long time ago there was a position called el ropaviajero. They were old men who wandered around the streets calling to people for their old worn clothes.
Yesterday I went to la universidad catolica de peru with my friend maggie. I went to a class about peace culture, the professor gave a lecture about contemporary politics in peru and read from todorov's book Hope and Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century
"The idea of 'humanitarian bombs' and 'ethical war' is profoundly shocking. Some wars are just, for example, those undertaken in self-defence against aggression, or to avert the deaths of millions of people. But no war, not even a just war, is merciful. Only a particularly docile public, or one that is keen to preserve its good conscience, can dismiss what the other side calls 'crimes against humanity' (civilian deaths) as 'collateral damage."
Last night I met with Tania Silva at a cafe down the street. We had an excellent talk and I will begin working with Sarita Cartonera today.
This morning, there was a tremor, un temblor, a little earthquake. It woke me up. the sky is blue now- it had been gray since I got here. Vasco told me that they say that the sky stays blue as long as the earth is adjusting, that there will be more (hopefully little) earthquakes.