Peru court orders demolition of 'Wall of Shame' dividing rich and poor

LIMA – Peru’s Constitutional Court has ordered the demolition of a wall that separates a rich neighbourhood of Lima from a poor one, ruling it “discriminatory”.

A case for the removal of the 10km wall – over 2km high in some parts and topped with barbed wire – was brought by a private citizen in 2018.

It has been nicknamed the “Wall of Shame”.

A first section of the wall was erected in the 1980s under the pretext of protecting the affluent neighbourhood of La Molina from the Shining Path guerrilla group, considered a terrorist organisation in Peru.

With the group defeated, the wall was extended, however, in the 2000s, this time ostensibly to prevent illegal land occupation.

In Peru, migration from Andean areas to the capital during the 1980s and 1990s led to massive settlement of hills on the outskirts of Lima.

Thousands fled Shining Path violence, others came looking for work.

“We have made a unanimous decision, that the wall that separates La Molina and Villa Maria del Triunfo (an impoverished neighbourhood) has to be torn down,” Judge Gustavo Gutierrez told RPP radio on Thursday.

“It’s a discriminatory wall… It can’t be that we divide Peruvians by social classes. That is unacceptable, it is no longer happening anywhere in the world,” the judge said.

The court set a deadline of 180 days for the wall’s demolition. AFP


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