We always enjoying seeing headlines highlighting news events in Peru. This week, Peru has been featured in the headlines nearly everyday. Sadly, it hasn't been much good news.
On Monday a powerful earthquake shook northern Peru. The earthquake was centered in a rural area and measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. This massive earthquake could have been very damaging if it had taken place in a more populated urban area. Early reports indicate that there was some building damage and several lives lost. One friend in Lima reported to us that she felt the earthquake and that it lasted longer than the average tremors. Lima is 450 miles south of this quakes epicenter.
On Tuesday a terrible bus accident in Peru killed 18 people and injured 40 more. The accident happened south of Lima on the PanAmerican highway. Two buses traveling at high speeds hit head-on when one of the buses attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle on a blind-curve. Bus accidents are frequent in Peru. Bus drivers often work long hours with no breaks and attempt to make more money by traveling at high speeds.
On Wednesday news reports discussed Peru's Coca production. Many rural farmers are asking for more open production of the plant. Coca leaves are used for a variety of products in Peru, including soft drinks. However, the leaf is best known for its use in the production of cocaine. Peru's government has attempted to eliminate this illegal use of the plant with limited success. The United Nations estimates that Peru's illicit coca production increased by 14 percent last year.
As you read this "bad news" from Peru use it as a reminder to pray for this needy country. We are looking forward to going back to Peru where we can do our part to take "Good News" to this special country.