We spy with our little eyes …

     |    Tuesday, der 13. April 2010

Photo credit: from La Republica (Issue of March 27, 2010) – snapshot showing the backend of the car used by Marco Arana’s ‘chaperon‘


… could be the motto of the Peru’s police force (Policía Nacional del Perú – PNP). In any case, their official motto is “Dios, Patria y Ley” (God, Fatherland and Law). Like any law enforcement agency, they like keeping an eye on things. At the end of March 2010, Marco Arana got another taste of what it’s like to be watched.

Ok, he’s already used to being followed. But that was back before he became politically involved, when he was still a priest who fought together with GRUFIDES activists for the rights of small farmers in the region. Farmers who were in conflict with the Yanacocha mining company over water and land rights (= their sustenance).

Now it seems that Marco Arana is being monitored again – for different reasons. Arana is still a priest, but the Bishop of the Cajamarca diocese has forbidden him the right to carry out his priestly duties in public. The reason was Arana’s political activity – he tours the country tirelessly as an advocate of the movement Tierra y Libertad (land and freedom). They are trying to gather enough signatures before the regional elections in 2010 and the presidential and congressional elections in 2011 to become a registered party at the national election boards.

At the end of March, Arana told the Peruvian daily newspaper La Republica that cars with tinted windows but without license plates have been parking for months in front of his apartment in Lima, and that those occupying the cars were busy ‘filmmaking’. He has also had new ‘neighbors’ living above him for the past 4 months. They recently threw a party and Arana claims he heard them “complaining out loud about their bosses at DIROES”. The DIROES are a Peruvian Police task force for special operations.

Since that loud party, Marco Arana has paid more attention to both of his upstairs neighbors.

PS: Worth a read: Spitzel zu vermieten – In Peru bringen illegale Lauschangriffe Politiker in Bedrängnis (article in German from the Lateinamerika Nachrichten, March, 2009)

Below: Taken from La Republica (issue of April 11, 2010)

In Lima: Surveillance no one likes. One of two cars that Marco Arana claimed had been following him during various days in Lima. Intimidating phone calls for his comrades of the political movement Tierra y Libertad (Land and Freedom). Arana got his telephone and internet lines cut at his place in Peru’s capital Lima. It seems the psycho-mind games against the Tierra y Libertad co-founder and potential presidential candidate in the elections in 2011 have started. Photo: Street in Lima, taken by Marco Arana, April 10, 2010