El Muro de la Vergüenza

Today, one of the biggest challenges facing the South-American continent is the demographic increase of its population and consequently the expansion and crowding of the main cities, which over time have turned into real metropolis. In Peru, this problem is more than ever present in Lima, which with nearly 11 million inhabitants is one of the most populated cities in South America. Most Peruvians moved to the capital in search of better job opportunities to meet the needs of their families, others to start their business in the economic center of the country. Over time, this phenomenon has led to the intensify of a latent social problem in every huge city: the coexistence between people of different socio-economic classes. It is well known that in most Latin American countries the difference between the richest and the poorest social class is significantly bigger than in the European countries where this gap is depreciated by the middle class. Due to the physical lack of space and the constant demand for new housing, it happened that these two social classes with opposed lifestyles have moved close to the same public space, until to share it next to each other. This phenomenon has made it that the inhabitants of the richest area of the city, feeling threatened by such closeness, develop increasingly the desire for segregation towards the most humble people. Due largely to the delinquency and the risk of being a victim, these people have decided to take a position, detaching themselves from that part of the city, which according to them, did not reflect their lifestyle. The most singular case of this phenomenon occurred between the district of Santiago de Surco (one of the most exclusive of the city) and the district of San Juan de Miraflores (one of the most humble of the city) where because of this segregation, they have constructed a wall that physically divides these two opposite realities. On the one hand the wealthy social class, with luxurious houses, swimming pools, green parks and state-of-the-art infrastructure and on the other side, separated by a few meters, the most humble social class without even the basic services to lead a dignified life as water and drainage system. The fact that to divide these two realities is not a geographic boundary, but rather a wall of reinforced concrete and barbed wire built by the will of man, is the symbol of how today’s society is divided. All people have the same rights, however different can be their lifestyle, their social extraction and their philosophy of thought. Ignoring the problems or erecting barriers to separate and not seeing the other realities, will never help to create a united society where everyone has the same opportunities, but only increase the gap between human beings.