Day: October 8, 2006

ACORN Peru

ACORN Peru

ACORN Peru’s mission is to empower low- to moderate-income communities by building a multi-ethnic, multi-regional and multi-issue organization, uniting all Peruvians around their common interests.

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.

Through our collaboration with COPOFRI, ACORN Peru has been helping its members with the complicated administrative process of attaining legal housing tenure. ACORN Peru has also addressed issues of housing through its campaign for fair taxes. Corruption within Peru’s Tax Administration Services caused seizure of several low-income families’ homes. Due to the pressure from ACORN Peru members the Tax Administration Services have created more equitable payment plans and prevented further home seizures.

Finally, ACORN Peru members are campaigning for an independent government for the district of San Juan de Luringacho, a megaslum of 1 million low-income people living on the outskirts of Lima. If San Juan de Lurigancho becomes its own district, all of the tax money that residents contribute will be reinvested in their community, rather than going straight to Lima, and they will be given more control over the way the money is spent. ACORN Peru is campaigning for the full provincialization of SJL and working hard to inform residents about the new rights they will have should the law pass.

In the future, ACORN Peru will continue mobilize communities in Lima and San Juan de Lurigancho to fight for basic needs like housing, clean water and sanitation. ACORN Peru will also continue its work for access to health care, social justice, and security.


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