El Muro de la Vergüenza

As many metropolies in South America, the city of Lima, with over 11 million of inhabitans is going through an overpopulation issue. This phenomenon has led to the intensification of a latent social problem: the coexistence between people of different socio-economic classes. Due to the lack of physical space and the constant growth of demand for new housing, it happened that the wealthiest social class and the most humble one have seen increasingly thinning the distance that separated them, up to share the same area. The inhabitants of the wealthiest area of the city, feeling threatened by such closeness, have developed a detachment desire from the social class which according to them, did not reflect their lifestyle. A singular case occurred between the district of Santiago de Surco and Villa Maria del Triunfo where a wall was built in order to physically divide these two opposite realities. This wall made by armed concrete is 3 to 4 meters high and is equipped with barbed wire. The aspect of this wall, similar to a small fortress, leads to think that it hasn’t been built only for matters of demarcation, but also for issues of social separation. Over the years the wall has been renamed El Muro de la Vergüenza (Wall of Shame), due to the discrimination suffered by the population of Villa Maria del Triunfo.
Today the aspect of this area of Lima reflects the division of modern society. In one side, the wealthy social class, with luxurious houses, swimming pools, green parks and state-of-the-art infrastructure. On the other one, separated by a few meters, the most humble social class deprived from even basic services to lead a dignified life. Everyone have the same rights and ignoring the problems or erecting barriers will never help to create a cohesive society where everyone has the same opportunities. Instead, it would only help to increasingly widen the gap between human beings.