[Second and last part of Pedro’s story]
As I said in the first part of this story I am impressed by Pedro’s personality, by his intelligence and extreme hardiness towards fatigue or any kind of climate. He has a lively and authoritative look. He’s pensive sometimes. Not the gloomy pensive, though. The optimistic pensive. He hums while he works.
Pedro directs a team of 10-15 workers, some of them appearing as impenetrable Inca masks to me.
There’s regret in him that the Peruvian ancient cultures were wiped out. “How could they treat the Inca civilization like that?” he laments. Even today – he says – there’s a lot of gold up there. The mountain peasants are poor but they’re surrounded by precious minerals.
“You dig the mountain and you see gold, you see copper. I have been working in the mines. Then foreigners arrived who took away everything. The people, who were poor before, are still poor today.”
His eyes lit up when he saw we speak English at home now and then. He’s therefore started to take English classes.
“We’d be a strong community in Italy had we harmony. There’s envy and jealousy instead towards those who have success.”
One interesting thing he told me about Chile. “After the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship the people have straightened up and now they respect the rules, while everybody in Peru is tricking everybody and there’s total anarchy. A folk sometimes needs some straightening up.”
This final observation – let me digress – reported by an ex 1968 student like me who saw Augusto Pinochet as the devil incarnate … Things must be seen from many view angles, and generally speaking democracy isn’t a plant that adapts itself to any terrain, I believe.