Terrorism in Peru... still

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
teamoperu
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Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby teamoperu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:07 am

Terrorism still runs rampant in Peru. Who? Los chóferes, the drivers. Terrorism relies on creating fear in the population: pedestrians are fearful in Peru. Their weapon of preference is their 1500 kilo metal-sheathed armoured vehicle versus your soft skin. Ever try to cross at a intersection? The drivers terrorize pedestrians, cut in front of you, forcing you to stop or be run over... even if you you are already halfway through the crosswalk! Their method of intimidation? Their horns. Constantly honking at you to announce their presence and power. Entering an intersection they honk... and proceed regardless that there are 20 pedestrians already there and woe be to you, if you don't get out of the way. Or they don't honk and just turn from behind to in front of you so you have to jump out of the way and need eyes in the back of your head.

Their intimidation works. Ever watch the extraordinary care an average Peruvian uses just to cross a street? They are the top dog, hiding behind that wheel and wielding a ton of pain. And should one of them shows weakness and stop for a mother with children in tow, the terrorists behind will honk, voicing their displeasure at the turncoat, then pass around him, narrowly missing the smallest child. Every green light is impatiently announced by cars honking, even cars 5 back. Honk, honk, I am more important than you. Every pause in traffic is claxtoned, saying I am a terrorist, you can't slow me down, you must get out of my way. Honk, honk, I am driving a weapon here, you must listen to me. You would be hard pressed to find a tico without the tell tale marks of a collision. At least they have the courtesy to wipe the blood off the hood before plastering on the body filler. (pun intended).

It is not an exaggeration, the toll of those maimed or killed rises daily, dutifully reported by the press, which only reinforces the fear tactics upon which the terrorists rely. It is for good reason the common Peruvian farewell is, “cuidate”, “be careful”... be careful of the terrorists behind the wheel on every street, around every corner, lurking to terrorize or even hit you.


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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby TonyLeslie » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:49 am

Certainly raises a sore point with me and I would think most other Expats who come from countries where pedestrians have first use of the crossing when the green or walk sign comes on. Having said that, if you walk in the Centro area from San Martin Plaza to the Plaza De Armas, the pedestrians are trying their best to get revenge and often force the cars to stop out of sheer weight of numbers.

One of the many other things that makes me shake my head, is when the Transit Police take over control of an intersection and leave the traffic lights working, even though they are moving traffic contrary to the signals. Don't know whether it is too much effort to put on orange flashing lights to warn both motorists and pedestrians that there are altered traffic conditions at the intersection, or (most likely) the system is so outdated they can't alter them.

Confusion (and terrorism?) reigns on the streets of Lima
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Choripán » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:37 pm

Great post, totally agreed on all points. There was another recent thread on this issue, one with a link to an SF chronicle article describing the nightmare that is Lima's traffic. Now I can't find the thread, or the article.

I was thinking the other day that intimidation and fear are the twin pillars of Peruvian traffic culture. I ride my bike as much as possible. I've noticed that whenever I'm at an intersection drivers will actually accelerate as they approach on the crossing street, even though they see me, even when I hold the right of way, even if there is a obvious stop sign and "pare" is pained on the ground, and even if there is a permanent speed bump physically obstructing their path. They will accelerate like they plan to go straight through, then pull up at the last second, before hitting either the speed bump or me. It's totally unnerving because you never know with absolute certainty in the moment whether driver will in fact stop, though they *almost* always do. I was hit by a taxi driver a month ago. Fortunately, only my poor bike was injured.

What's most remarkable about the behavior is that it's utterly pointless from a transportation point of view. They must slow down for the speed bump or risk knocking yet another loose part off their rusty smog-monster. So the only value a driver can derive from the behavior, the only thing that could possibly motivate it, is the pathological satisfaction of intimidating someone with less power than they have at that moment. They must do it for the pleasure of the threat itself, and nothing more. There's no other explanation.

So I'm not sure "terrorist" is the right word to describe the drivers here. At least terrorists are (in theory) politically-motivated sociopaths, people who desire things higher and larger than their own lives. Terrorists are dead wrong about what that higher thing is, and how to bring it about in the world. But at least they are motivated by a calling of some kind.

Peruvian drivers on the other hand are nothing more than sadistic small-time losers, thugs really, the kinds of guys - let's face it, they're virtually all male - who pulled the wings off insects when they were kids and probably the limbs off their sister's Barbie doll when the frustrations of adolescence became embarrassing and overwhelming. You have to spend a lot of your life feeling emasculated - powerless, unconfident, ineffective, unneeded - to cultivate the kind of hyper-masculinity required to intimidate random strangers unable to defend themselves on the streets, most of them women and children and the elderly. This of course happens all over the world, because males are all over the world, and not just in traffic. But here it's something else entirely.

Who knows what created the mess. It's probably a cultural disorder, one that takes ordinary human beings and turns them in to self-subverting thugs on the highway, or in other any place where the expression of raw power is unconstrained. If pressed I would argue it was colonialism and the unparalleled brutality of the conquest that set these forces in motion. Peru, like most of the Americas, was born of intimidation, violence, chaos, and inefficiency - the same words I would use to describe the streets of Lima. Those habits are hard to quit once they take root in the national identity.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:55 pm

yeah, it's one department where i'm not afraid to be a judgmental jerk here. i don't care if it's "cultural" i don't care if it's "how it's done here," it's disgusting and it deserves contempt and ridicule. they should seriously be ashamed of how they behave on the road here. like giving animals drivers licenses. i use my middle finger all the time when crossing streets/driving here.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:00 pm

the road downstairs from me must be a route to a hospital, b/c almost every day i'll hear an ambulance downstairs, siren blaring, and the driver on the loudspeaker screaming for people to move aside, again and again. i'll look down there, to see NO ONE moving ONE INCH to allow room for the ambulance driver. complete and total disregard on the road for anyone but oneself. it really makes me sick. like "screw whoever is in that ambulance, if i move i'll get to where i'm going slower, i'm staying right here."
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:06 pm

renodante wrote:the road downstairs from me must be a route to a hospital, b/c almost every day i'll hear an ambulance downstairs, siren blaring, and the driver on the loudspeaker screaming for people to move aside, again and again. i'll look down there, to see NO ONE moving ONE INCH to allow room for the ambulance driver. complete and total disregard on the road for anyone but oneself. it really makes me sick. like "screw whoever is in that ambulance, if i move i'll get to where i'm going slower, i'm staying right here."


I've seen the same and don't understand it either.

The same when the firebrigade comes.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:12 pm

I've seen the same and don't understand it either.


it's easy to understand. the almost universal attitude is "eff you, me first."

and the irony of it, which doesn't seem to occur to anyone, is EVERYONE gets EVERYWHERE slower, not faster, because of it.

If pressed I would argue it was colonialism and the unparalleled brutality of the conquest that set these forces in motion.


they've been independent since 1821, sorry they don't get the colonialism pass on this one.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby lizzym » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:28 pm

One of the first things I noticed when coming here was the way pedestrians run across intersections like scared chickens, even when it´s technically their time to cross. I think it´s humiliating and I have refused to do it, come what may. I won´t cross a highway in some random place, instead I´ll wait at a crosswalk for the light to turn, but when it turns I sure as heck am not going to desperately scurry across.

When I see a car speeding up to get me out of the way, I slow down and give them a good stare straight in the eyes - if they don´t stop then I will, and they won´t get anywhere anytime soon. Haven´t been hit yet *knock on wood*. The middle finger is a common occurrence for me too. Certainly don´t recommend anyone else to be as "careless", but in this society it´s usually the one who looks craziest that comes out on top.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Pollo mani » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:35 pm

One of my favorites is crossing a one way street checking for on coming traffic only to be almost struck by a motor cycle or bicycle going the wrong way , Or walking the side walks and having to dodge motor cycles coming at you . This is the same as anything here , there are the laws in place,just no one to enforce them.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Pollo mani » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:39 pm

One of my favorites is crossing a one way street checking for on coming traffic only to be almost struck by a motor cycle or bicycle going the wrong way , Or walking the side walks and having to dodge motor cycles coming at you . This is the same as anything here , there are the laws in place,just no one to enforce them.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:42 pm

When I see a car speeding up to get me out of the way, I slow down and give them a good stare straight in the eyes - if they don´t stop then I will, and they won´t get anywhere anytime soon. Haven´t been hit yet *knock on wood*. The middle finger is a common occurrence for me too.


Yeah, that's what I do exactly. I'll probably die because of it one day. The finger doesn't come out until they lean on their horn, with me having the right of way. When they lean on the horn, I reduce my speed to a practical crawl as I walk, maintaining eye contact with finger brandished.

renodante, destroying American/Peruvian relations on the streets daily.

i also love when they beep the horn at you while you're standing still at the edge of the sidewalk, head looking towards traffic. i always think "gee, thanks for that. here i was about to leap in front of your car while you're going 40 mph. what would i do without your constant horn honking?"

another classic is full sized buses, not even combis, frickin BUSES speeding up and whipping around corners in order to beat the yellow light.

as long as they pay cops peanuts here and leave fertile ground for police apathy and corruption, it will never change. it would take a year or two of downright draconian enforcement of road rules to begin to change all this.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby TonyLeslie » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:11 pm

Choripán wrote (in part)
Peru, like most of the Americas, was born of intimidation, violence, chaos, and inefficiency - the same words I would use to describe the streets of Lima. Those habits are hard to quit once they take root in the national identity.

Sounds to me like that also describes the whole Peruvian Bureaucracy, but then, the people who are "supposed" to control the traffic are probably exactly that.

I also think renodante should stop insulting animals by linking them to the drivers in Lima. I'm sure with a bit of thought, you could think of something far more appropiate, but whether you would be allowed to write it here of course would be another question. :)
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:21 pm

even this guy has more courtesy on the road http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQzUsTFqtW0
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby teamoperu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:43 pm

But the funny thing is that it is not the national identity, they do not generally act as bullies, except behind the wheel.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby douglas8 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:48 pm

well this post is exactly whats on my mind these days...and I for one am leaving Lima simply because of the traffic, it is life threatingly dangerous to go to the grocery from where I live and right now because of Xmas is worse.

behind the wheel people become much worse than animals...i don't think animals have contempt for old ladies and small children..

colonial...hardly but very peruvian or limeno

I experienced the same in Pnomh Penh cambodia but they don't have cars there just a lot of motorcycles..

as for the characters of the driver they presumably are nice normal people but behind the wheel are sociopaths...

my experience is that I am the only one who complains(siempre) and when I do the rest of the people look at me in shock...

btw I defied the taxis combis etc when i first came here...when i really realised that they would have zero problem to run you over and then run away (some may even desire that) i started sprinting across intersections...to hell with pride i dont want to walk with a limp all my life because i showed some idiot criminal taxista in lima

one more note ...a huge part of the problem which was stated in that article is...the expectation every limeno has to NOT have to walk more than 1 cuadra to get a taxi or combi (so all taxis and combis speeding along slam on the brakes to get one pasajero)....simply can not be done in a city of 7 million...if that thinking/culture continues then this traffic will as well....i for one will not be around to see the outcome.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:01 pm

(so all taxis and combis speeding along slam on the brakes to get one pasajero)


another good one (whew this is a rant fest). yeah, i always try to hail a cab on a part of the street where the taxi can safely get out of the lane of traffic to pull aside and find out where i'm going. 98% of the time they don't bother, and just block the lane of traffic anyway.

sorry, but i've seen it carry over into too many other aspects of life here in lima to see it any other way: Limenos (most of them) just don't give a damn about anyone but themselves and their immediate family. there's pretty much no sense of community or common courtesy on the streets, stores, etc, at all. but the roads are the worst of the worst manifestation of it.

i've been doing my own anger management sessions at grocery stores, where instead of paying at the little plastic shelf thingy DESIGNED TO PAY FOR YOUR STUFF every single limeno instead stands smack in the middle of the belt, stopping the person behind them from putting their groceries on it while the cashier finishes ringing them up. i just start to stack my stuff up around them and smile when they shoot a look at me as i reach my arm around them to put my stuff up there. (off topic but the rant is rolling)
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby falconagain » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:39 pm

All this is not surprising, most of our public transportation drivers have
purchased their licenses, they cannot read, count or even know which one
is their left hand and their right hand.

In 2009 I tried to get my license renewed. I was directly asked by the cashier
on the Touring for a bribe in the amount of 500 soles. I chose not to drive or
renew my license. What I wonder is how many people unqualified people just
paid the bribe and are a public danger to everybody by going around killing
people. It is not only a matter of giving access to drive a vehicle to anybody
but also making them accountable of their actions. There is many accidents
when the bus driver flies away from the scenes and there is no charges made
to him or her because the companies say that they have no record of who was
driving.

Taking in account the number of death and injured people which is higher than
in most war zones. These people truly deserve to be called terrorists.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:59 pm

I am always impressed that not more accidents happen because of the way people drive.

Not only the way that people drive is a problem. The condition of most vehicles is dangerous. I've been in buses and taxi's and could see the road through the holes in the floor. Also completely worn out tires are common.
Often in buses, the seats are loose and not properly mounted to the floor. Doors are open whilst the bus drives and I have seen buses where the doors where even missing.

The risk to get caught whilst driving drunk is almost zero. I've never seen the police doing random alcohol tests.
A big percentage of accidents are caused by drunk drivers.

There are too many buses as well. Drivers have to race to pick up enough passengers.

A government run public transport system would be better. Modern buses (that use less fuel and contaminate less) and drivers that get a fixed salary and good working conditions. On busy routes double deck buses like in the UK could be used to reduce the congestion.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Nomada » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:20 am

I disagree with whoever said that Peruvians are only bullies behind the wheel, and as a person who is half Peruvian, I will not hesitate to say that I experienced more rudeness in Trujillo than I ever have in my life, which has been long and nomadic.

People will simply try to take your place in the supermarket line, or any line, treat you like an inconvenient obstacle when you are in a wheelchair at the airport, attempt to run you off the sidewalk on the narrow cobblestoned streets of El Centro, and much more. I say attempt because I refuse to be intimidated and had frequent run-ins with rude Peruvians who tried to bully me in various circumstances. I am just grateful that I got out of Trujillo alive (if you think the traffic is bad in Lima, visit Trujillo, province of the busy four way intersection with NO signal, no stop sign, and no traffic cop. My biggest fear was that I would beat the crap out of someone's car, (or worse, someone) when my hostility level reached the breaking point.

One of my favorite ones was when I went downtown to buy a cane and I was trying to cross the street and a couple of policemen in a car refused to give me the right of way and sped by. Every time I hit the United States I am shocked by the civility of the people in the grocery store and in general. I don't have to worry about my elderly father (Peruvian) being mowed down by a horde of people as he walks down the street.

I don't think it is Peru-bashing to acknowledge these revolting realities, and even my cousin who is 100% Peruvian often says in Spanish "we are a country of savages".

The amount of tension that slowly leaves my body when I leave Peru where my full city woman guard is up every instant that I am out of doors in unbelievable. And I was born in Lima.

I love going to the ATM machine and calmly taking out hundreds of dollars without having my head spinning on its axis to see who is around me.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby hoyce » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:19 pm

i just cant figure it out. you see how crazy and impatient they are when driving. but look at them when they're in line at the bank, or in line for one of those mc donalds sunday/ice cream stands - they are so patient. are they the same people?
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:58 pm

I don't think it is Peru-bashing to acknowledge these revolting realities, and even my cousin who is 100% Peruvian often says in Spanish "we are a country of savages".


yeah, i've gotten to the point where i'm practically numb to it now. there was a period where i was in a constant state of near rage when walking the streets, buying things,driving etc. it's not just behind the wheel, it's just that, as other posters have alluded to, there's both more power, and more anonymity, behind the wheel, so they can get away with even more. just the almost complete lack of common courtesy is shocking until you get numbed out to it and accept it as an everyday reality.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Drake » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:02 pm

Sometimes it is very hard to understand that Peru can be very dangerous. I´ve been here 4 months now and I do not feel unsafe and that is making me a bit worried. I drive a car in the traffic every day, I just try to give a away all those who seems to have a horrible hurry to wait in the next traffic lights. Watching television in the evenings makes me realize how much corruption and violence is on the streets, inside the goverment and authorities. I just pray that my family will stay out of the harms way.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:04 pm

hoyce wrote:i just cant figure it out. you see how crazy and impatient they are when driving. but look at them when they're in line at the bank, or in line for one of those mc donalds sunday/ice cream stands - they are so patient. are they the same people?


they're patient with that situation because they've been waiting on long lines for things their whole lives. we marvel at their patience because when we go to a "fast food" place it's not normal to sit there for 20 minutes waiting for your name to get called, here it's par for the course.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Nomada » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:42 am

Renodante, in all seriousness, would you tell me how you overcame your rage at Peruvian drivers? There is an off chance I might have to return to Lima to live, and I need to avoid "un infarto"!

I was not able to afford frequent massage or Yoga classes, etc., now that Lima has become so pricey. Any tips would be appreciated. It is good to know that I am not the only one who walked around seething with rage. :x
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Choripán » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:59 am

renodante wrote:they're patient with that situation because they've been waiting on long lines for things their whole lives. we marvel at their patience because when we go to a "fast food" place it's not normal to sit there for 20 minutes waiting for your name to get called, here it's par for the course.


I think you are on to something that can be generalized. No doubt aggression on the streets of Lima is the direct result of frustration in other areas of life in Peru - like a pressure cooker that emits steam wherever it reaches the boiling point. Traffic is the blow-hole of Peruvian culture, the one place where you can exact payback for all the unfairness and inconvenience and disappointment you have suffered through the day and over the course of your life.

It's interesting to compare this behavior to America and other developed societies. All of them suffer the same kinds of pressures, more or less. It's modernization itself that makes you feel squeezed by the world around you in ways that cannot be directly identified and corrected. Blaming "capitalism" as a villain, despite what you read in the News and Views forum, never really gets you anywhere, because it's largely unactionable criticism. Still, there are some differences:

- Road rage in the United States and Europe is actively policed. Here, nothing is policed, not on the road anyway, and because of rampant corruption the concept of policing itself has next to no legitimacy. So the rage is unabated, which means it's both more more common and more diffuse. In the US, there are fewer total road rage events than there are here. But when events do happen, they are spectacular - gun battles on the shoulders of the freeways, people intentionally run over, cars crashing into office buildings, televised police chases that go on for hours, etc. In Lima, they express their rage in the micro-details of their driving habits, which means the big events are less common (at least so far as I have seen). It's kind of like how a series of small tremblers can dissipate the energy of massive quake. The total negative energy is more or less constant over time. It's just the way it is expressed that is different. As a parallel, it's also interesting that no one ever seems to go postal in Peru. In this case, I don't think it's because they are able to blow off steam in micro ways, but rather because in the United States gun laws are weak and those that do exist are weakly enforced. Like aggressive traffic in Lima, aggressive shooting in the United States is partly explained by the opportunity that lawlessness itself creates.

- Peru, like many developing modernized countries, may suffer from more pressure than developed modernized countries, largely because Peru is so inegalitarian. The total negative energy is higher in Lima than it is in the countryside, because Lima is urban and modernized. That's normal. But it is also high in the countryside, because people are forced to eat inequality and injustice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day of the week, no matter where they live. I don't mean this a political commentary, just an observation about causes and effects, and how societies work. Unjust societies produce higher levels of negative energy than just societies. And I think this can be measured by the way people treat one another, especially in public. Traffic, then, is a kind of belle-weather for democratic health. Germany has incredibly aggressive drivers, fast and furious, but they are remarkably unintimidating. They stop for pedestrians and obey traffic laws. I wouldn't hesitate to ride a bicycle anywhere in Germany, except maybe the autobahn itself. Like in most healthy democracies, Germans don't have a bone to pick with their fellow citizens, but rather just want to feel the thrill of speed and rush of risking their own lives, and not those of others.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:32 pm

Choripán wrote:
In the United States gun laws are weak and those that do exist are weakly enforced. Like aggressive traffic in Lima, aggressive shooting in the United States is partly explained by the opportunity that lawlessness itself creates.


Violence is on the up everywhere. And it seems like criminals have more rights than victims.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/stor ... 51865896/1

This criminal has been convicted before for armed robbery and posession of firearms. He was also free on parole and supposed to be checked by police regularly.

The parents of the 17 years old baby that was one of the victims where to poor to pay for the funeral. (Luckily people donated money) But the criminal who commited suicide after the shooting his funeral got paid for by the government.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Choripán » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:44 pm

chi chi wrote:
Choripán wrote:
In the United States gun laws are weak and those that do exist are weakly enforced. Like aggressive traffic in Lima, aggressive shooting in the United States is partly explained by the opportunity that lawlessness itself creates.


Violence is on the up everywhere. And it seems like criminals have more rights than victims.


I was talking about road rage and going postal as ways people pathologically blow off steam under stressful social conditions. The only reason to bring up episodic bursts of violence was to shed light on the driver aggression problem, which is what this thread is about. Let's not get distracted. Otherwise your sudden political turn may hit an innocent pedestrian taking a casual stroll through the general discussion forum.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:55 pm

Choripán wrote:
chi chi wrote:
Choripán wrote:
In the United States gun laws are weak and those that do exist are weakly enforced. Like aggressive traffic in Lima, aggressive shooting in the United States is partly explained by the opportunity that lawlessness itself creates.


Violence is on the up everywhere. And it seems like criminals have more rights than victims.


I was talking about road rage and going postal as ways people pathologically blow off steam under stressful social conditions. The only reason to bring up episodic bursts of violence was to shed light on the driver aggression problem, which is what this thread is about. Let's not get distracted. Otherwise your sudden political turn may hit an innocent pedestrian taking a casual stroll through the general discussion forum.


Road rage is a crime too. A car can become a dangerous weapon.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby BrianB » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:41 am

I've never been able to understand why the hell anyone, Peruvian or expat, would ever want to live in Lima. Seven million people in the middle of the driest desert in the world, I really don't see the attraction. If I had to live there I'd probably need to find some sort of outlet as well. If possible we never even leave the airport on our way through.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:46 am

Nomada wrote:Renodante, in all seriousness, would you tell me how you overcame your rage at Peruvian drivers? There is an off chance I might have to return to Lima to live, and I need to avoid "un infarto"!

I was not able to afford frequent massage or Yoga classes, etc., now that Lima has become so pricey. Any tips would be appreciated. It is good to know that I am not the only one who walked around seething with rage. :x


Well, I wouldn't recommend my method. Basically I just let out the worst aspect of my inner New Yorker behind the wheel and become worse than they are here. I overcome the frustration by turning driving into an extreme sport where I cut off combis and everyone else at every opportunity, speed up to make sure the guy ahead of me about to cut me off is unable to, etc. In the process I'm no longer angry but hyper-alert and don't ask me how, but the whole thing makes me end up more relaxed (being even more aggressive than the most aggressive peruvian drivers) and the whole thing turns into a game for me. I used to drive professionally so I'm pretty comfortable behind the wheel, and know exactly how big my car is and where i can squeeze in and out of to the millimeter. Instead of stress I get an adrenaline rush when I drive here, I make it fun, the whole Wild West aspect of it. odds are i won't pulled over for any of my shenanigans and if i do i can just slip the cop a 20 and be about my way. I was driving my peruvian ex girlfriend's car here the other day with her in the passenger seat and she was terrified for her life the entire time.

so yeah haha, i wouldn't advise anyone to follow my example.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby Nomada » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:19 am

Thanks, Renodante. I can relate to your method as that is probably what I, as a former big-city driver would do, too. However, in Lima I am most usually a pedestrian except when I am a taxi customer, which has often created enormous stress. Since my Spanish is so fluent, I usually tell the driver very directly that he needs to slow down, and if they don't take that seriously, I get heavier and tell him that if he doesn't improve his driving, he can drop me off and expect no fare. This usually elicits, a "si, señora" and a change in speed and caution level.

I guess my pedestrian habits reflect your driving ones, as I generally, when in a bad mood, take over the sidewalk and refuse to move over even when confronted by a line of schoolgirls arm in arm, who think they own the street. The thing I hate is feeling so upset over this trivial stuff in the first place, when there are so many bigger issues to be truly upset about, but again, it helps to know that I am not the lone ranger and that others give in to the urge to give people the finger. They really don't expect that from a middle-aged gringa appearing woman, but they get it! I am going to start working on stress reduction techniques while I am still here in this very pacific state in case I have to go to Lima and put on my full metal jacket again!
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby teamoperu » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:37 am

In particularly bad cases, when they startle me, I have taken to slapping their side mirror closed jeje. Figure if they are close enough for me to do that, they are too close. Funny, a recent taxi had a side mirror dangling down. I asked why and he said nonchalantly “un bolso”.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby rski » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:41 am

I heard before that this is usually a race thing too. I don't really ever have this problem and lots of people will stop and let me cross. My friends also complain about the police but they always try to help me out.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby renodante » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:15 am

I guess my pedestrian habits reflect your driving ones, as I generally, when in a bad mood, take over the sidewalk and refuse to move over even when confronted by a line of schoolgirls arm in arm, who think they own the street.


haha there's a whole thread about that one somewhere on here. you're definitely not alone with that one either. it used to drive me insane, now i just slam through/into people when i walk.

yeah, i'll probably end up murdered here one day.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby anocker » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:28 am

Just joined this website and this is the first forum I have read and the first post I have made.
While i agree that the driving in Peru is poor at times and often thoughtless to the point of dangerous I have to say it has improved a lot in the last twenty years. Now basically people do stop at red lights. People do generally not block the crossroads if they cannot proceed themselves. 20 years ago when I first arrived it was very dangerous to assume a green light meant you had a safe passage through the junction. It was very common for cars to ignore the lights whatever colour they were. Most drivers back then were probably the first of the family to ever have a car. Unlike most expats they hadn't had their parents councelling them or grown up with a highway code. The improvement in 20 years is noticable despite the fact that there are far more cars on the road.
I think it is a bit sad that many of the bloggers simply list the problems and blame the drivers. There are always reasons for good and bad behaviour. Praise and blame don't really help or contribute to understanding.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:59 pm

BrianB wrote:I've never been able to understand why the hell anyone, Peruvian or expat, would ever want to live in Lima. Seven million people in the middle of the driest desert in the world, I really don't see the attraction. If I had to live there I'd probably need to find some sort of outlet as well. If possible we never even leave the airport on our way through.


I agree.

In La Selva aren't traffic jams. Almost no cars. Only friendly people on motorbikes. I never heard of road rage here.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby jvimage » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:40 pm

Yep, Lima traffic sucks.

At the root of the problem are:

1. A corrupt national police force
2. No traffic court system

There's just no institutional memory of ever having had public road order, and there’s no point of reference of an organized system of credible traffic law enforcement. It has never existed. And the blame lies directly at the top, with the leaders of this country who allow this daily ghastly display of public aggression to endure for years on-end, and getting worse every day in the roads we all share.

Compounding these problems you have an entire population and top government “leadership” that doesn’t-know-they-don't-know.

If each municipality was able to get rid of the “policia nacional” in their districts, and would in-turn create a district based non-corrupt traffic police that enforces traffic rules-imposes fines accordingly, they would make a lot of money (legally) for their communities and create a new paradigm of order and consequence-to-actions when breaking traffic law.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby rama0929 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:50 pm

It seemed to be getting a little better the times I've been there
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby jvimage » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:12 pm

rama0929 wrote:It seemed to be getting a little better the times I've been there


Not sure about traffic getting better in Lima. Last vehicle census in 2011 showed over 2.5 million registered vehicles roaming the streets. Registered means legally in circulation, and does not take into account the thousands, maybe more "Piratas" who will much easily run you over for an extra sol since they don't really exist. Hit-and run, and never get caught. It happens all the time.

Lima population stands now at over 11 million, with 50% being age 25 and younger. At the end of the 70's national population held steady at 14.5 million for the entire country.

Last weekend I was shopping at the big Plaza Vea in Ave. Arequipa in Miraflores. There was a line of maybe 30-40 young people waiting at the BBVA Banco Continental counter. They seemed unusually chipper for an early Saturday morning grocery shopping crowd. I couldn't help but to ask a group at the end of the line what was the deal. They all pointed at a festive display with multicolor balloons and a big sign that read, "get your car loan in 5 minutes with just your DNI, no credit/employment verification."

With the economy being what is in the US and other developed countries since 08, soaring unemployment and all the other ills we've seen grow like an incurable cancer, I am not surprised global banking is now looking at Peru and other emerging economies as the temporary solution to avert further economic collapse.

Like Deep Throat said to Bob Woodward, "follow the money and you'll find the answers."

New car sales is great business for everyone, except us pedestrians trying to survive crossing the streets of Lima.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:17 pm

Changes are possible.

France was used to be one of countries with the worst driving behaviour and high accident rates.

But it's changed a lot. People keep to speed limits and stop at pedestrian crossing now.

Higher fines, alcohol checks and speed cameras can do a lot.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby rama0929 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:05 pm

chi chi wrote:Changes are possible.

France was used to be one of countries with the worst driving behaviour and high accident rates.

But it's changed a lot. People keep to speed limits and stop at pedestrian crossing now.

Higher fines, alcohol checks and speed cameras can do a lot.


Problem is, no one wants to pay for it. Nanny nations cost, they aren't free.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:18 pm

rama0929 wrote:
chi chi wrote:Changes are possible.

France was used to be one of countries with the worst driving behaviour and high accident rates.

But it's changed a lot. People keep to speed limits and stop at pedestrian crossing now.

Higher fines, alcohol checks and speed cameras can do a lot.


Problem is, no one wants to pay for it. Nanny nations cost, they aren't free.


Speed cameras are like ATM's for the government.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby rama0929 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:27 pm

chi chi wrote:
rama0929 wrote:
chi chi wrote:Changes are possible.

France was used to be one of countries with the worst driving behaviour and high accident rates.

But it's changed a lot. People keep to speed limits and stop at pedestrian crossing now.

Higher fines, alcohol checks and speed cameras can do a lot.


Problem is, no one wants to pay for it. Nanny nations cost, they aren't free.


Speed cameras are like ATM's for the government.


There are no shortage of driving violations any given day in Peru. They can make a mint enforcing traffic laws without adding speed cameras to the mix.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:48 pm

rama0929 wrote:There are no shortage of driving violations any given day in Peru. They can make a mint enforcing traffic laws without adding speed cameras to the mix.


Most accidents are caused by speed. Enforcing speed limits will save a lot of lives. The speeding fines will get a lot of income for the government. That money can be used to improve roads, build safe pedestrian crossing(those bridges) and more safety precautions for people who clean the streets.
And more alcohol checks will avoid accidents like below too.

http://laindustria.pe/deportes/futbol-n ... a-de-emape
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby jvimage » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:06 pm

chi chi wrote:Changes are possible.

France was used to be one of countries with the worst driving behaviour and high accident rates.

But it's changed a lot. People keep to speed limits and stop at pedestrian crossing now.

Higher fines, alcohol checks and speed cameras can do a lot.


Yes, change is possible. However, only if Peru's leaders band together and get on the same page adopting basic standards of excellence on the issue.

Having a new traffic court and traffic police system with exclusive oversight for all traffic law enforcement is a must. Careless drivers have to get hit where it hurts, their pockets.

A few years ago here in Lima they passed a "no tolerance" law for driving w/o seat belts. it took a while but the response to consequence (fines) for breaking the law paid-off. As a result many lives continue to be saved, and people just buckle-up. It's second nature for drivers now because they know it's in their best interest. They have learned and there are consequences.

No ifs or buts, the Polcia Nacional has to be kept out of the mix. They are way too corrupt at a root level. They'll never give up their control because it's all about individual profiteering for them. Power has to be taken away from those who cannot handle it. Their abuse of power in exchange for bribes is endemic.

The individual law enforcement scheme at a district level would work well once they see the numbers lean their way. They'll quickly realize revenues can be substantial with an efficient traffic law enforcement program. No need to re-invent the wheel. No need for extensive Nanny services. A single year budget item for professional consultative services and the districts can fly solo after that.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:14 pm

jvimage wrote:No ifs or buts, the Polcia Nacional has to be kept out of the mix. They are way too corrupt at a root level. They'll never give up their control because it's all about individual profiteering for them. Power has to be taken away from those who cannot handle it. Their abuse of power in exchange for bribes is endemic.


You can bribe a cop but you can't bribe a camera.

Those unmanned camers like we have all over Europe can be used.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby rama0929 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:38 pm

chi chi wrote:
rama0929 wrote:There are no shortage of driving violations any given day in Peru. They can make a mint enforcing traffic laws without adding speed cameras to the mix.


Most accidents are caused by speed. Enforcing speed limits will save a lot of lives. The speeding fines will get a lot of income for the government. That money can be used to improve roads, build safe pedestrian crossing(those bridges) and more safety precautions for people who clean the streets.
And more alcohol checks will avoid accidents like below too.

http://laindustria.pe/deportes/futbol-n ... a-de-emape


You still don't need cameras to enforce speed limits and alcohol checkpoints.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby rama0929 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:42 pm

chi chi wrote:
You can bribe a cop but you can't bribe a camera.

Those unmanned camers like we have all over Europe can be used.


You can steal, break and disable cameras.

Who's going to pay for the cameras? Who's going to install, repair and otherwise maintain them?

Use the cops you already have there. Pay them more so they don't take bribes.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby mateo » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:23 pm

forget the terrorists.

if one more old lady steps in front of me while standing in line somewhere i'm gonna hit her.

and whats with running up to the altar for communion??? afraid the church is gonna run out of hosts???

wtf.
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Re: Terrorism in Peru... still

Postby chi chi » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:43 pm

Old people, disabled people, pregnant woman and people with small children have the right of 'attention preferido' according to Peruvian law.

You see those signs with attention preferido always at banks.

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