Sun. Mar 29th, 2020

Coronavirus in the Canary Islands: Enclosure and rejection in Peru – La Provincia


A group of six Spaniards hopes to return home as soon as possible; however, the cancellation of air traffic in Peru confines travelers in the country. This is the case of Sofía Cerpa and Luis González, two aruquenses who went on vacation to the country in search of an exotic culture. Now they wait for a sign in a hostel that they prefer not to detail due to the rejection of the population of the place they face for fear of contagion in the midst of a health crisis.

Peru is around 400 infected for him coronavirus in the last hours and among the population that comes to listen to the news that changes minute by minute there are two canaries waiting for the return, Sofía Cerpa Rodríguez and Luis González Croissier. Just a few weeks ago they embarked on their way to the South American country to enjoy a different and exotic culture, but the reality is that the latest attempts at displacement have been truncated after the measures that were applied there and in the surrounding regions such as Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Paraguay that restrict flights from European countries.

The couple is originally from the Gran Canaria municipality of Arucas and Sofía, through audios, tells how the event has evolved since they decided to move from the city of Arequipa to the capital of Lima on Monday 16. “The situation here is more complicated, especially for foreigners and Spaniards,” he says. admitting that she is nervous due to the stress to which they and the group with which they share a path are subjected, two from Alicante and two from Bilbao called Manu, Mar, Carlos and Montse. “It is difficult to look for accommodation and, although at the beginning you could change euros anywhere, now they only change you into dollars and some other banking establishment,” he says.

Likewise, the advance of the pandemic, which in Spain has already led to the death of more than 2,700 people, according to data confirmed yesterday by the Ministry of Health, puts the affectation of the national territory by the virus in the media spotlight. “The Peruvian population is very susceptible to the Spanish, they believe that we can transmit the coronavirus,” he adds, “and we are in a place thanks to a taxi driver who brought us to the airport and was able to get it for us. We cannot speak very loudly, in conclusion , we are cautious to go unnoticed, “he says. To the distress is added the curfew that the Peruvian state decreed last week.

The insecurity aroused in Peruvians by their Spanish origin means that, he says, they are denied accommodation in the surrounding hostels. “Everything was unleashed from one moment to the next, air traffic was closing in five-minute spaces and, after much coming and going, one day we woke up at six in the morning to go to the Arequipa airport, they attended to us , and closed, “recalls the Canary Islands what happened just a few days ago. “Finally, through one person, we were able to get to Lima, we took a taxi and came to the embassy.” As for the economic resources, they hope that some of the money that they have disbursed to the tour operator will be advanced.

Solidarity in the network

Not a sign on it. “The doors were totally closed”, he declares, “they answered us by telephone and in the end a person came out to tell us that there was no one inside, when there were people, and they did not give you any kind of answer.” In fact, they referred them to the agency’s telematic services in order to respond to the group’s requests without there being direct contact between the institution’s staff and tourists. “All the arrangements are made by mail or telephone, which was not accepted until three days later when they enabled a third line,” speaking about the internal organization.

Another way they found was instant messaging on Facebook. Apparently, the Spanish embassy does answer the social application’s chat. “Among the messages we receive from the embassy, ​​he says that commercial flights cannot leave, however, we have seen some within the military zone,” Cerpa said, “anyway, we follow the news minute by minute,” he insists.

Through social networks they follow the breaking news that come to the fore of the media, in addition, they can keep in touch with their family and intimate circle. The couple’s son, Luis González Acosta, awaits in Gran Canaria new events such as May water. “From here we live all this with uncertainty because it is not known what will happen, if they bring them back here on military planes, for example, or not,” he says. Also confined since the central government decreed the state of alarm on Sunday the 15th, he talks about the psychological support that they offer them these days. “The transfer is urgent,” he stresses.

Other relatives such as Mari Carmen Sanmartín Moreno, Sofía’s sister, has created a petition on change.org with the title Isolated Spaniards in Peru without being able to return that it has obtained 5,702 signatures to request the pertinent actions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A video circulating on the Net where the six members of the expedition appear explains the state in which they are from the stairs of the place where they sleep these days, a fix that the taxi driver who brought them to Lima could provide. In the statement they mention that on the 20th the Government announced that they would send a plane to repatriate them, however, the Spanish embassy pointed out that it would only be for those who had tickets with Iberia.

The mayor of Arucas, Juan Jesús Facundo, assures that since the previous week the protocol has been activated and they have communicated the need for the transfer to both the President of the Canary Islands Government and the Government Delegate, “options are being sought with the Ministry of Foreign Action “. About dates and possible calendars, he prefers not to pronounce and the mayor argues that the picture that is posed is complicated. “The administrations involved are doing everything possible and the pertinent steps to make it soon,” he explains. Soon for the return home.

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