Lima – Soccer and Elections

I arrived in Lima on the weekend of the presidential election, important date to the politics of the country. The city was gray and cold. I thought that on the same latitude in Brazil, in the Atlantic coast, it should be hot and sunny.

Saturday I was supposed to meet two English friends to see the soccer match of Peru and Ecuador. The idea was to root for Ecuador. The English girls because had lived there and got affection for the country. And I, because I believed that they deserved, after all, they had never been in a world cup before, they were doing well and could get classified. It was in Quito when Ecuador won from Paraguay, it was an enormous party on the streets, everything stopped, everybody were wearing their team t-shirt and painted their faces. Also thinking about the historical facts, the frontier wars, Ecuador always lost to Peru, maybe for being smaller and weaker country. They deserve to win this time; even if it is only in soccer.

We saw the match in a popular restaurant downtown, eating hosted chicken with french fries and drinking Inca Kola (alcoholic beverage was prohibited because of next day elections). We cheered silently for not being lynched. The game was hard, only 2 minutes before the end Ecuador did a goal. It was hard to hide the happiness. We couldn’t stop laughing. The Peruvians stood up angrily and left.

Sunday it was the election’s day; the decision between Alejandro Toledo and Alan Garcia. I asked everybody to whom they would vote for. I wanted to have an idea of people’s opinion. I preferred Toledo, even though I think his background is neo-liberal and that might not be good to the people. Anyway, it is better than a former president who was corrupt.

A taxi driver showed a pamphlet saying that Toledo had used drugs when he was young, then said that drugged president couldn’t be. When I asked if he thought Alan was a thief, answered me “yes, but stealing they all do it and it is better a known thief than a stranger”. Another taxi driver said that he was going to vote in Toledo because ” the other one we already know, now let’s try a new one”. The young woman in the hotel said that she was going to vote in Alan. I asked her about his past of corruption, she answered: “before he was too young, didn’t know what he was doing, he did what the others told him to do, now he is better, he is older and knows of the things”. I thought that was an excellent excuse for a campaign.

Sunday night we already knew the result, Toledo would be the next president…


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