Monday, August 28, 2006

At least it wasn’t the Shining Path

Who says Ica is boring?

This morning on the Plaza de Armas, I was greeted by the site of over 50 police officers in full riot gear. Were they getting ready for a presidential visit? A massive strike? Marxist guerillas?

Nope. Just a shopkeeper who got behind on his rent payments and was refusing eviction. Apparently, the landlord (San Luis Gonzago University) got a judicial order to evict and the police were preparing for a bit of a Monday morning battle. Of course, the actual participants from inside the shop were mainly “delincuentes” paid 20 soles a piece to throw bottles and rocks at the police from the first story rooftop.

The battle got under way with tear gas and the sound of gunshots (hopefully rubber bullets) at 10 am. The police quickly took control of the street front and within 20 minutes had made way for a blowtorch to open the pad-locked store. The battle ended by 11:30 and although one ambulance did come in with sirens blazing, it didn’t seem like anyone was seriously injured.

Not every day that you get to see Hernando de Soto’s theory of weak property rights in action.

Edit: the yellow is a concrete facade. Those definitely don't look like rubber bullet holes to me.


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