Its principles Peru began today to demolish the so-called “wall of shame” that separated luxury residences from the neighboring slums in the capital Lima, yet the divide still remains strong.
The wall, some sections of which reach a height of three meters and others reinforced with barbed wire, separates people living in dilapidated houses, in neighborhoods with dirt roads without even basic services (electricity, water…) from the residents of a paved, gated community with luxury mansions, many of which also have a swimming pool. The wall, which has become a symbol of inequality in this Andean country, is now being demolished by order of the Constitutional Court, after a four-year legal battle.
“It obstructs free passage but also hurts the dignity of the neighbors,” said Judge Gustavo Gutierrez, who is overseeing the demolition. “It’s a symbol of division that separates two social groups and it shouldn’t exist,” he added.
The residents of the wealthy neighborhood of La Molina began building the wall in the 1980s, citing security concerns due to the Shining Path, Maoist rebels seeking to overthrow the government. This organization, after 20 years of violent conflicts with the Peruvian armed forces, was effectively disbanded in the 1990s, but the wall that separates La Molina from the slum of Villa Maria del Triunfo not only remained in place but also expanded.
Francisco Dumler, the administrator of La Molina on behalf of the municipality, said that residents will comply with the court order but that the demolition will take time because of its unpredictable costs. “It must also be clarified that there is no possibility of any paths or any kind of road access being opened directly from Villa Maria del Triunfo to La Molina”he added.
Other residents said they were worried people from other areas would move into their neighborhood. La Molina features lush parks and large multi-million dollar homes.
On the other side of the wall, shantytowns are constantly being built, higher and higher up the hill, and residents use sticks to climb up and down the steep slope.
Source: News Beast
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