Neighbors to Denounce the Infamous "Wall of Shame" in Lima's La Molina District

Neighbors to Denounce the Infamous "Wall of Shame" in Lima's La Molina District

Mike Dreckschmidt

The “Muro de Verguenza” wall that separates upper-class residents from poverty stricken neighborhoods becomes the subject of a public discrimination controversy. Here’s why…

Extending approximately 10 kilometers long, you may have seen the infamous “Wall of Shame”, or Muro de Verguenza if you have passed through Surco or La Molina in the southern part of Lima’s metropolitan area. It sprawls along the top of the dark hills like a military barricade separating one of Lima’s richest neighborhoods from one of its poorest. It passes through several districts on both sides but for those who live on the low-income side, the theme remains the same down the entire length: separation and marginalization.

Some areas of the wall are less obvious than a fortress-like rampart but serve the same purpose. This is the case in the previously informal settlement of La Florida in Villa Marí­a del Triunfo, a low-income neighborhood, which is separated by a tall barbed-wire fence from the urbanization of Las Praderas in the district of La Molina, one of Lima’s richest residential zones. Here, the director of La Florida Carlos Hinostroza has publicly denounced the wall as discriminatory and infringing on the rights of the free movement of community members in public space since it was built in 2011, reported by El Comercio.

The neighbors of La Florida are planning to present a habeas corpus for their right to free transit in public space in the coming days.

The Municipality of La Molina defends the wall as marking an “ecological zone” that is justified by official government papers. They state that they have already approved a plan to convert the area into a park for green space, cultural activities, and recreation. However, clarification on whether or not the space will be shared with residents on the other side of the barbed-wire fence has not been offered.

Residents on the low-income side have long seen the fence with fear and resentment. Neighbors talk of those who have approached the wall being shot at by guards from watchtowers; likewise, La Republica has reported similar stories in recent years. During the presidential campaign of now US President Donald Trump, many pointed out that the indignation over the proposed Mexican border wall in Peru (as in much of Latin America) should be directed toward the “Wall of Shame” that stands right in our backyard.

What are your thoughts on the “Wall of Shame” and what it symbolizes for Peru? Share your opinion with us here at Living in Peru.

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  1. senor_kasper
    May 30, 22:08 Reply
    There is nothing wrong with building barriers to keep intruders from entering private property; this, of course, includes building barriers to safeguard international borders. In the case that your article deals with, it boils down to whether of not the barrier is separating private property from the surroundings (which would be fine) or illegally denying access to what is legally deemed to be public access land. Resentment or any other emotion or political motivation should have nothing to do with this.
  2. WalterLY
    May 31, 13:46 Reply
    In Lima there are criminals who traffic with land, they take advantage of the poor, they sell these land that they own, often lands of the Peruvian state, then demand the state light, free water. That is why La Molina and Surco build these walls, to avoid the invasion of land.
  3. Scarlett
    May 31, 21:51 Reply
    Hi! I'm peruvian and I live in La Molina, right at the bottom of the hills this article is about. I would strongly recommed the authors to seek for more objective information about this critical issue. The low-income neighbourhood you are talking about is not a neighbourhood but an invation. I'll tell you how it works: criminal people sell parcels of lands they invade on intangible territory, such as hills, to low-income people, with no urbanization or access to basic services such as water or light, and then the entire community (the buyers) demands the State for these basic services, after they bought these parcels knowing these were non-apt for human inhabitation. What is more, ten years before, in 2007, the hills were empty. Nowadays, if you come to La Molina, you can see how these little, informal and unsecure diminute buildings are filling the hills. Ten years before, criminal activity in my neighbourhood was really low, and it was consideres as one of the safest places to live and raise children in the city. Nowadays, almost everybody has security cameras, security alarms and make monthly payments to residential-security companies. This, because everynight docenz of houses are entered by criminal people in order to stole TVs, computers, jewelry, etc. They even kill our dogs. So, that "Wall of Shame" you are talking about, actually is the way to protect ourselves from the real shame: invasions of people who buy parcels illegally. Next time, please make am objective research.
  4. Guillermo
    June 01, 02:22 Reply
    Even though I agree with the concept of "wall of shame", the article is biased and not exact. It is a shame, indeed, that some districs had to build this kind of fence to stop illegal invasions, which is what you find on Villa Maria del Triunfo's side. I'm a regular user of the park and its hiking trails and I have seen how this asentamientos humanos grew over the years. It is indeed a shame that the legal system is so weak (as at least to say) that it has been inefficient to regulate this matter. I sympathize with the people living in such harsh conditions, but stating that rich people live on the other side is biased. People that worked hard to have a house cannot be considered rich and we feel the threat of this illegal developments and the effect it can have on the value of our properties. It is a shame we need a wall, I wish we didnt. PS. Check the map, Las Praderas is not inmediately in the border but a middle class neighborhood, is.

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