ACORN members in Lima, Perú often live in constant insecurity in the street and even in their own houses. In an attempt to protect the residents the city has put gates and bars in the streets, creating blockades. This is often counter-productive, however, as then emergency vehicles cannot pass, and at times it hampers victims’ escapes. As well, residents have had to pay for not only the installation of the blockades, but also pay private security guards that are of the same National Police force that should be protecting them. Security in Lima is a matter of money where those that have it can access security and those that do not have to face greater danger due to their lack of resources.
The members of ACORN initiated a campaign in the communities of San Juan of Lurigancho (Motupe) and Palomino to push the Police to assume the role of public safety servant they are supposed to fulfill and these are some recent achievements:
The founding office of Community Organizations International, ACORN Peru was born in 2004 in Lima. After 4 years, ACORN Peru now has over 3,000 members actively campaigning for equality and human rights.
Our major successes include:
A campaign against privatization of Peru's national water system in partnership with the Peruvian Water Worker's Union (FENTAP) which helped keep the water systems public in a dozen states in the country.
In keeping with our commitment to ensure water access to the poor, ACORN Peru has also worked to bring potable water to the 1-million strong squatters settlement of San Juan de Lurigancho. By negotiating with housing authorities, as well as with the public water company SEDAPAL, we were able to guarantee water access to a section of the population. SEDAPAL has agreed to install stand pipes at appropriate locations, reduce the price of installation and per-family charges, and significantly expand the coverage.
Access to water is directly linked to housing. In this regard, we have worked in collaboration with COPOFRI, a subdivision of Peru's housing authority. The work with COPOFRI has included educating people of the possibility of gaining formal ownership of their houses. Formal ownership is a key step for household water connections. Water connections have traditionally been denied to people who do not own homes, and also who are hesitant to pay for sewage and pipes because their housing situation is unstable.