Thursday, November 23, 2006

If You Don't Like It, Burn It

Turns out that some of the voters in several precincts of the regional elections in Peru were unhappy with the results. So they took the votes they didn't like, ripped them up, or burned them in huge bonfires in the city center, like in Paucartambo.

Some news commentators suggested this was another tactic of intimidation..that the losers hired the people in the crowds to make a fuss, and therefore nullify the results.

In the largely Aymaran district of Puno, Humala's far more militant brother Antauro won. I've read Antauro's newspaper and interviewed his etnocacerista followers. Most of them are really into their Indian roots. But one guy told me they also admired Hitler. "He did for the German race what we are trying to do for the descendants of the Incans here." Everyone in the office, a small group of about ten, nodded their heads. And the Jews? I asked. "Oh well, Hitler had to do what he did because the Jews were controlling the economy."

I see, I said, trying my keep my impartial journalist face from slipping.

Actually, there are parallels between the Incan descendants and the Germans post World War I. The lost empire, a sense of humiliation. Etcetera, etcetera. A dangerous combination, as the etnocaceristas have shown.

How quickly we stupid humans forget our own errors.

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