The morning got off to a fast start with Jose Murgia, president of Peru’s La Libertad region paying the SCC team a visit at our hotel. He had been Trujllo’s mayor for 20 years before he moved up the political ladder to the regional president’s position. He had set aside 30 min to talk to us but ended up staying for 90. A graying man in his late sixties or early seventies very passionate about Peru. Hidden agenda or not he made a case about why our report should be totally neutral and how we should not let our recommendations be used for political purposes. He gave us a lesson on Peruvian constitution and how our recommendations should be in line with the constitution. Thus far we had only seen the local municipality’s perspective but the president gave us a new perspective. The meeting certainly got us thinking about how we should make our recommendations and keep all parties happy – probably not going to happen! It is clear we have to be very objective and not be swayed by local politics.
From l to right: Security Guard 1, Security Guard 2, Narayan, President Murgai, Cook, President’s staff, Durani, Russo
Right after the meeting with the president we met with Juntas Vecinales Chief- Javier Urbano. He gave us a bottoms up perspective about local vounteer efforts that help deal with crime. More useful data to work into our report.
The rest of the afternoon was spent discussing the report contents and what else we would need to fill the gaps. Later that night we went to a local Italian restaurant for dinner and ran into President Murgai there. To the surprise of the waiters and patrons (and us) the president strolled over to our table to chat with us.