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Peru

Crime And Fear, Peru's "New Terrorism"

Amid the seeming complacency or incompetence of the government, drug-related violence and criminals acting with impunity are creating an all-too-familiar atmosphere of fear.

Policemen at work after the July 22 explosion in a Lima circus
Policemen at work after the July 22 explosion in a Lima circus
Carlos Escaffi

-OpEd-

SANTIAGO DE CHILE — Those of us who lived in Peru during the 1980s have macabre memories of terrorism in our midst. We can recall the sensations we felt on hearing a nearby explosion, immediately followed by a power outage, or the fear that kept us in even blacker darkness. It was during the virtual civil war between the state and Maoist Shining Path guerrillas, and for civilians it was an era of helplessness and constant concern for the safety of loved ones.

A similar sense of absolute defenselessness is increasingly being felt there today. It's not just a matter of mild concern or analysis. We've reached a crisis point in which parents fear that taking their children to dinner or to the circus might endanger their lives (Criminals used grenades and other explosives at a Lima circus in late July, injuring 11 people). Drug cartels and other organized crime engaging in extortion and other violence have driven murder rates in some of Peru's cities to levels similar to the most violent countries in Central America.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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