The title of this post is what appeared on a sign at a rally in Cuzco.  Let me explain:

When we were in Cuzco, it was less than a month before the Peruvian elections (on June 5, 2011).  Pretty much everyone I talked to was of the opinion that there were many issues with the current government, especially the President, and that it seemed likely someone else was going to be voted in.  Some said this more passionately than others, but everyone agreed that there was a lot of corruption, with the past and present government, and that they were ready for change.  As anyone who knows me can probably tell, Tom was the one asking these questions for the most part, not me.  Although I did inquire after this large demonstration in the middle of Cuzco.  With no warning, I’d say over a hundred people took to the streets in the Plaza de Armas, armed with signs, drums, and their voices, yelling out chants and cheers I could not understand.  What I did understand was that these people weren’t happy, that they were ready for change, and that they did not want Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former (imprisoned) President Alberto Fujimori, in power.  Luckily, Tom had a camera that does well (enough) in low light, so I was able to take these pictures.  These first three were from when I was on the sidewalk.  People saw my fancy camera and stopped to pose before me (maybe they thought I was a reporter?), but those pictures didn’t come out so well.  Here are some from the rally:

In the background you can see the Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús.

Like the Ghostbusters sign (on the far left)?

According to someone I met in Peru, APU is a political party, not a soccer team.

Then things started to get a little heated, so we decided it was time for dinner.  During our dinner of guinea pig, we had seen quite a bit of light and what looked like fire below.  Afterwards, when we went to investigate, we saw what seemed to be a sign totally decimated by fire:

It also appeared as though people had lit candles and left those behind.  It was actually quite a pretty sight, so I took one last picture before hurrying out of there (as the police were patrolling the area):

So, that was our adventure being privy to the passion of Peruvian politics.  I was happy to later year that Ollanta Humala had won, as it seemed like, similar to most American elections, the Peruvians had picked the lesser of two evils.  Not that I’m commenting on Peruvian politics, just that it seemed like Peru was in line with what the Cuzco people I met had expressed and it’s always happy to see when elections turn out that way.

Well, that’s all the tiptoeing around politics I’m going to do today.  Hopefully next time I’ll have pictures that are less politically-charged, but I thought it was important to post these.  Until next time…