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10/12/09

A positive: Peru begins to take Unasur seriously

The last time Peru turned up at a UNASUR meeting, the pathetic and highly unpopular Twobreakfasts (25% approval rating, out today) was an embarrassment to his nation. Rather than taking the meeting of the 12 South American nations seriously he decided to crack sexist jokes aimed at Argentina's Klishtina and try to brush off the serious work of debating the US military presence in Colombia with snide comments and barbs. Once his lamentable display was over, opposition politicos from Peru's left and right joined as one voice to condemn his actions (a rare thing indeed to hear Lourdes Flores and Ollanta Humala singing from the same songsheet). His display was that of a laughing stock, no more and no less.

So it was good to see this report from China's Xinhua news agency make the following available to English language readers of LatAm affairs; Peru's Internior Minister Octavio Salazar, currently under great pressure to fight back against the terrorist led upsurge in cocaine production in Peru, is looking to adopt the measures proposed by UNASUR in its last meeting and play its role in a pan-regional anti-drug trafficking council. Salazar dixit....

"We are going to implement all that was discussed there"

....which cannot be a bad thing. The more South American states work together, cooridinate their efforts and reject outside "help" (that usually causes more problems than it heals), the better the region will be. Peru has moved away from the majority consensus political line under the last two governments (Toledo and Twobreakfasts), especially in economic policy terms, but it should still take its role as one of the centres of the cocaine scourge seriously. The move to seek agreement with fellow LatAms is wise and should be applauded. Fortunately, the joke of a Prez won't be there at the top forever and Peru may eventually regain its lost credibility as a nation amongst the people that really matter; the neighbours.