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Radio Diospi Suyana

The devil has made the schnapps …

As the German song writer Udo Jürgens sang this song in 1973, the atmosphere was relaxed. Although he took up the subject of alcohol, probably none of his listeners then cut their liquor consumption as a result.

 

Friday the 20th of December at 13:30 clock. From different places, two mens are brought simultaneously to the Diospi Suyana emergency. One had choked while eating, under the influence of alcohol. The surgeon Dra. Annette Haar found the patient with dilated pupils. His body is cold, he is dead. In the other case, it is a young man who was involved, duelled by drinking, in a violent confrontation. He is not awake.

 

A week earlier, a drunken man died, after having lied down beneath a truck to sleep. As the truck pulled away, it ran over the sleeping Quechua native speaker.

 

Entire communities in the mountains of Peru can sink into collective binge drinking on weekends. Not infrequently, an orgy concludes religious festivals at town. Violence, disease and death, the rape of many girls, abandonment of children’s and the poverty of families belong to the sad consequences of alcohol abuse.

 

The alcohol is – because all the experts agree – the scourge of the Peruvian mountain people. Unfortunately, there are many influential Peruvians who have a great interest in ensuring that the status quo does not change. In Curahuasi for example, a high-ranking politician operates a liquor plant. His earnings stem from the alcohol dependence of the Quechuas in the district.

 

In response to this national epidemic all federations of Protestants churches in the country to have a clear answer. They say: "A drop of alcohol is a drop too much!" In Europe and North America, this attitude may seem to be quite extreme. However, the results are clearly positive. 12 % of the Peruvian people, namely all evangelical Christians abhor any consumption of alcoholic beverages. By their example, it leads to decreased alcohol consumption of their neighbours, friends and relatives.