Peru: Post covid19 testimony surviving the virus and the crisis

Carlos Jara Cuevas

International Policy, Security and International Cooperation Analyst. International press for Gaceta Ucayalina 

London 08/11/2020 

The testimony that we are going to present making a brief introduction of the trajectory of this great friend Humberto Espinoza Maguiña, who back in 1985 gave me his pages of his newspaper "La Jornada de Ancash" to be able to collaborate with some articles and also allowed me write the editorial in some of its publications that fond memory we always carry and we do not forget, and when we find out about his critical health due to the effects of covid19 we express our solidarity from distant lands, happily he is already recovering and we wish him to continue with the same force of youth as Dean of the College of Journalists of Ancash.

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, while the ghost of Covid 19 was flooding all regions of Peru , it was already tragic to learn of infections and especially deaths in Ancash, Cajamarca and San Martin, regions postponed by public health policies and the extreme political corruption, we have evidence that in these regions the quality of life is extreme poverty, malnutrition, anemia, tbc exceed 44% , dengue, malaria for which there is no mechanism to counteract this other true pandemic of our population in the north and northeast.

We currently have 489,680 infections in Peru and 21,501 deaths, the quarantine in those places and especially in Cajamarca it is dramatic, the lack of means is shaking the provinces of that region that are waiting for the plan that now the new Premier Martos has exposed to launch this operation throughout Peru and surely targeting by areas according to the information and diagnosis that they have first hand.

The political tide has passed in the middle of the national pandemic and Congress has put political moderation ahead in its relations with the new Martos cabinet and with President Vizcarra, it is up to the civic-military cabinet to demonstrate its capacity at this juncture despite the paths criticism that I generated before the premier's presentation in Congress. For example; Two covers appeared from the same journalistic placenta, Hildebrandt published an editorial openly confrontational with Congress, and the other cover affirms the same thing, only that it presented a doctored photo of the premier with a helmet and a rifle. The first power of the State Parliament is there this represented our people, democracy and governance. Faced with this affront by Vizcarra, the streets could not be mobilized by the state of emergency but social networks opted for one position and another, at that time Vizcarra did not want consensus, they want total submission from the Legislative Power. In the editorial Hildebrandt qualifies the President of the Congress as a bully and parties organizations policy of the c rhyming, and defines the Congress and Caretas from the cover this ba knocking on the doors of the barracks, in these circumstances the aristocratic political caste must learn to respect and to fear Congress and the People, differences cannot be resolved if confrontation suppresses dialogue. However, on the day of the presentation of Premier Martos, I address the health situation with priority and we believe that within the limitations of the short time that the government has left , it will have to approach the fight against covid19 with the same conviction not to lower the guard in the fight against political corruption in institutions.

Finally e sto e t is coming to fruition more consensus there is a reconciliation within the differences with the government of Vizcarra, especially because it is routing the path of moderation. Constitutional reforms that drives n in Congress will thrive especially when immunity and antejuicio define the conjunction of the parties should come up with a single idea and within the limits of the current Constitution. However, political parties now aim to respond in their own leadership and in their candidates for the presidential elections of April 2021, consolidating throughout these months candidates who are above the media promotions of El Comercio but are not committed and with experience. to propose their political programs throughout the country from a patriotic, republican, democratic and sovereign position in the face of intransigent neoliberal globalism that, upon detecting any social policy, qualifies it as populism.

While this was the situation, the well-known Ancashino journalist Humberto Espinoza Maguiña, victim of the covid19 , gives us his testimony after defeating the virus with medical treatment in a public hospital in Lima, from now on our appreciation and solidarity for his recovery and for all those citizens who has been suffering from this disease, in addition to this testimony from personal survival the outstanding character exposes it in this interview. Faced with these situations, it is important to take into account the achievements that countries such as the US have decided to opt for their own medical protocols, we even have Bolivia among others that have been obtaining very favorable results for health in the face of covid19 and the failed actions of the WHO.


The virus that spread throughout the world, attacks without discrimination or predilection, the renowned Ancashian journalist, Humberto Espinoza Maguiña, current dean of the College of Journalists of Ancash,  fell into the clutches of this terrible disease, after 27 days of hospitalization in critical condition, clings to life, is in full recovery in isolation in his home, the press man, has a dignified career, of persevering fight against corruption in his region, having defended with his voice and his brave pen, the interests of the great majorities and in his 34 years of interruptible and steely work, managing to imprison four regional governors, dismissal of judges and prosecutors, despite having suffered political persecution and death threats, in this interview we he tells his testimony, of the torture and the crucial moments of his life, of the last days.  

1.- How do you get covid 19 in Ancash?

HEM.- The first symptoms appeared on a splendid morning, in my Andean town; I wake up next to the solar rays that appear through the windows of my bedroom, I wake up my son, rebuking him that he has to listen to his virtual classes in the Aprende en Casa Program, which is broadcast on TV Peru; Angelito gets up, barely washes his hands and face, goes down to the kitchen, his maternal grandmother serves him breakfast and then he starts listening to his virtual teaching.

We come to the core of this testimony, with the exception that they are only probabilities; I find out through my Facebook account, the death of a colleague's mother, apparently due to natural death, at noon I receive a call to my cell phone from a very influential journalist in the middle, he asks me to support to the disgraced colleague by giving him the auditorium of the CPP - Ancash premises, he accepted immediately, and coordinated with the interested party of the premises.

In the afternoon, everyone at home, we went up to the top floor, together with my wife, my mother-in-law and the children, to light the wood stove and make it boil. "chicha de jora," because we were just a few days away to celebrate my birthday; At that time they rang the doorbell of the house, it was the colleague who required the premises of the College.

I take shelter and go down to reach him, and we moved to the facilities of my deontological entity, we supported ourselves by uploading objects and utensils that we had left in the environment, after the celebration of our institutional party.

I leave the keys to him, under his responsibility and I retire to my home, after three days he appears by my lar and hands me the keys, I receive it and without further precaution I keep it in the stand and until there it was, there.


HEM., Time passed and every day the cunning and criminal attack of this pandemic was unleashed with more force, the numbers of contagion and deceased people increased, we had obligations of parents at home, especially in supporting children and nephews in their virtual studios; cell phones did not work at the student's request; Forced to hire the Internet service, I was forced to visit stores supplying accessories for this system, in the meantime my cell phone rings, and another reporter is waiting for me for a live interview, who unfortunately died days later.

In the following days, I feel a fever sensation in my body, and my throat is swollen with a slight cough, I consult Dany, my fighting partner, and mother of my children, she does not give it due importance, but at night, He makes me inhale, boiling eucalyptus leaves, kion, garlic, onion and lemons, I take two preventive pills for COVID-19. The next day I was already admitted to the EsSalud hospital in Huaraz

3.- How did you face your treatment and how many weeks were your ordeal against covid19?

HEM.- I was hospitalized for 27 days, faced with this terrible disease; where days that seemed endless, that delay their twilight and in nights that their dawn did not come easily; where hunger and sleep, vital signs of life, are no longer your priority, only your desires are clinging to stay in this world, at any cost. This Sulpicio secumplioen elcentro Villa  Mongrut Hospital in San Miguel in Lima, where we arrived at 4.20 am, my first impression is strong, I see hundreds of patients stationed on both sides of the passageway, health personnel with their clothing respective protection.

They admitted me to hospitalization area three, ward seven, the next day they transferred me to ward 4, bed 518, because the oxygen service system was not working in the previous one. The care discipline is severe, 6 am first control check-up of patients, the first day they only give me two rehydrating serums, at 10 am the doctor arrives, at the bedside, we recognize each other, I saw him after many years, recommendations, positive mind, total peace of mind, cell phone use is restricted, take your medications on your established schedule; We will take care of the rest, good luck and everything will be fine, the doctor stressed and quickly left the environment. The next day, the "bombardment" of medicines comes, the counter attack on the cursed virus begins; In that, another problem arises, the water service was suspended from the previous day, with total discretion I managed to communicate with my daughter, she made it viral on the networks and the media and the next day the service was restored.

The days passed, and I had not eaten any food, I kept myself, pure serum; The head of nursing called my attention severely, "sir, if you don't eat, you die," she sentenced me, that I was left to "bite the bullet" and adapt to the taste and seasoning of the kitchen, without salt, without sugar, without seasonings and reasonable portion. That was the routine until I   left the hospital

4.- How the Ancashian journalists responded to your tragedy.

HEM, -After my internment in the Huaraz hospital, the first ones who reacted were my daughters, the youngest broke me, while Leny started the coordination from Lima, he communicates with Zuliana Laynez of the National Association of Journalists of Peru ANP , who had already found out from the first alert from the Huaraz comrades; The same happened with the office of Congresswoman María Bartolo Romero,

For her part, my daughter Leny , consults with her cousin, a young doctor, San Marquino professional , coordinator of the Villa of the EsSalud San Miguel hospital in Lima and accepts the quota, 

the information is transferred to the two instances of political and institutional support, the management begins at 10 pm that same day my transfer is admitted,

The following day the operation continues in Huaraz, the leaders Pelayo Luciano, Martín Gómez and Paco Rodríguez, (ANP) in direct conversation with the director of EsSalud Huaraz, get the go-ahead; but the evacuation of a patient complies with a rigorous protocol, they tell me that three medical exams need to be completed; At noon, my colleague Lalo Villa calls me on my cell phone, I comment on the matter, he answers me, don't worry I'll take care of it, Hernán calls him to speak with the Insurance GG, to arrange an ambulance, driver and accompanying doctor, the order, he replied to Hernán Carrión responds instantly, runs on my account,

Later, the formal request is sent, accompanying my medical history, the GG EsSalud dela network EsSalud   of Lima Callao, Rosario Contreras, daughter of an old friend of Chimbote, coordinators of Lima, they manage to be admitted ordering, A positive response arrives in Huaraz at 6.30 pm. The nurse on duty warns me, at any moment they evacuate you to Lima, get ready; The support of my colleagues for my transfer to Lima was decisive

5.- What is your analysis of President Vizcarra's speech on July 28?

HEM, - The   head of State dimensioned his message on 5 axes: integrity and the fight against corruption, institutional strengthening, sustainable economic growth, social development of the population, and decentralization.

On his last topic he has spent more than 150 days of quarantine, with an evident and lacking response to the vertiginous growth of deceased and infected people, we multiply in a state of emergency, an economic reactivation of clear favor to businessmen, without considering that the economic axis , moves with work, the other issues had no impact on the population, because his government that began with signs of being very promising is ending, mired in deficiency and corruption  


His clinical situation, which is in intensive care, the situation for that reason we are demanding the immediate intervention of the Regional Health Directorate from the central government, due to its disastrous signs of corruption, in the management of the state of health emergency in our region; at the same time, commit to the other authorities of all the states of the state, an effective, transparent and efficient policy of immediate response, to the need of the population, of medical attention, with a diaphanous investment of the assigned budgets, to stop the vertiginous growth of the terrible disease, with new hospital infrastructures, immediate hiring of health personnel, supply of medicines available to all patients without any discrimination, under the control and supervision of the Comptroller General of the Republic.

We are grateful to the Dean and time will tell how this serious problem will be faced and what results the covdi19 brings us, and the world economic crisis.


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