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Chorrillos History is Being Destroyed!

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, June 3, 2010

When my family first moved to Chorrillos in 2002, I found it be very beautiful and immediately fell in love with the city.  When I returned to Chorrillos last year I realized just how much the district had changed.  One of the most notable changes was the disappearance or should I say destruction of the Arco de La Villa which was located at the famous Curva towards the south end of Av. Huaylas (who's name has since been changed to Av. Defensores del Morro, as well as many others in the district).  The Arch was one of the few remaining patrimonies to the district and to discover that it had been torn down led many questions to be asked, most importantly why?  The Arch originally served as the entrance to the famous Hacienda Matellini which was later moved by the city to the Curva where it reside up until a few years ago when the Mayor Augusto Miyashiro Yamashiro had it destroyed.  What was his motive for having such an old relic of Chorrillos past destroyed?  What would come as a shock to many citizens and create mixed feelings towards the mayor was his decision to rebuild the arch out of METAL in a very crude representation of the original.  The new arch which can be seen by anyone who drives down Huaylas has been undergoing construction for almost two years now and has yet to be completed.  The plan of the reconstruction was to accompany the new arch with a system of small water fountains similar to the one's found in the Parque de la Reserva.

The city of Chorrillos has undergone what would appear to be a restructuring of it's image, a modernization if you will, at least on the surface that is what it appears to be.  Closer examination would show that all of the metal chain fences, light posts, and other metal structures in the city are fabricated by none other than the mayor's own brother.  In fact, since mayor Miyashiro's initial election in 1998 many allegations of illegal activities have been made, some with fairly substantial evidence.  Elevated taxation, constant construction projects, destruction of historical sites, are among some of the few problems that have fallen over the district of Chorrillos, which has many Chorrillanos upset and concerned.

As if things could not get any worse a historical site, a park with more than 100 years of existence was demolished by the Municipality of Chorrillos on April of 2010.  The pérgola and red marble columns of the Parque Cuadros were constructed overlooking the coast in the famous malecón of Chorrillos over 100 years ago and according to Peruvian law was protected under the status of National Patrimony which should have protected the structure from being destroyed.  In Lima, any structure or building that has more than 100 years of existence is protected under this status, many buildings are currently protected by this status (though they are in dire need of restoration).  The park was destroyed in order to make way for a new park which will feature several lit water fountains.  The outrage from the citizens and residences of the malecón is that they were never consulted about the parks remodeling, nor were they even advised about it.  In wake of the public outcry the mayor made a public statement that he had in fact addressed the residents and citizens, though in an interview with channel N he failed to mention exactly how he addressed the citizens.  His excuse for supposedly continuing with the construction despite the alleged disapproval by the citizens was that the park had become a site for "bad people" to consume illegal drugs and drink alcohol, a fact which is true but doesn't fully warrant the destruction of a historically protected site.  Aside from the destruction of the pergola and it's columns was the cutting down of 100 year old trees, as if Lima had enough trees to begin with.

What doesn't make sense is why the mayor would want to destroy a national landmark because a few bad apples smoke their weed and drink alcohol (I am also aware that the area was known for it's numerous incidences of theft).  If what Miyashiro stated is true then why didn't he just install more serenazgo security in the park?  Why was it necessary to build water fountains instead of preserving a NATIONAL LANDMARK?  Why would you remove century old trees and green grass for slabs of concrete?


What is concerning is the path which Chorrillos is going down and how it's cultural and historical identity is eroding at an alarming rate.  Granted Chorrillos is not the only district that is currently having problems with their mayors, look at San Juan de Miraflores for example. 

1 Responses to Chorrillos History is Being Destroyed!

  1. Rachel Says:
  2. Omg, I cannot believe they did that, but yet again I'm not surprised. I used to enjoy watching the military students and newlyweds take pictures in the old pergola. Chorrillos has so much history that is being destroyed. The mayor has no concept of modernization or historic preservation. Chorrillos is my second home, it is so sad to see such ignorance in action.


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