And the upper political echelons
Beginning of June on a long car journey from Curahuasi to Lima. Several meetings with high-level politicians await me, but somewhere in the middle of Peru I suddenly realise, I have forgotten my suit! Fortunately, from a distance Doris Manco, head of our Media Centre, organises appropriate attire.
22nd July – again I am in Lima for some bureaucratic procedures. A call early in the day: “Dr John, you have a meeting with the President at 5p.m. today!” Wow, what a surprise. This time I have no suit with me, but have a few hours to spare to see what I can find in the open shops. Within two hours I am the proud owner of a new suit on which a few tailored-changes have been performed. I am perfectly-dressed as I am about to leave the Guest House, but then my mobile rings: “So sorry,” it’s the President’s secretary is at the other end, “that I have to cancel your meeting at such short notice!”
3rd August. Late afternoon the Presidential Palace informs me that the postponed meeting with the President will take place tomorrow. Due to the pandemic there are no domestic flights. So I have to take the car. Cesar Mosquera and I leave just after 8p.m. and embark on an adventurous journey through the night. This time I have two suits with me, just in case! Who knows, I might even a meeting with the Health Minister! Listening to the radio this morning we witness a fateful parliamentary vote.
After a marathon debate in Congress, lasting 20 hours, the Prime Minister loses a vote of confidence; therefore, he and all his ministers must resign. At 10a.m. two tired travellers carry their bags into the Diospi Suyana’s Guest House. In this political crisis it is highly likely that our meeting with Peru’s supreme dignitary will be cancelled. Back and forth in 28 hours. My two suits are hanging, unused, in my cupboard again. But there are much worse things to write home about./KDJ