A Woman from Cusco Makes History, Verónika Mendoza

Fernando Delgado Aguirre

Veronica Mendoza in Cusco
Veronica Mendoza in Cusco

At the center of the Andean world, Cusco is not only characterized by its beautiful landscape filled with architectural monuments that transcend space and time, it has also been cradle of historic personages in Peru. Despite being a patriarchal society, many of its women have gone beyond their daily lives to impact Peru and the world.

We can cite Mama Ocllo, one of the group of sisters and brothers who founded the Inca Empire. Another tangible example is the great Micaela Bastidas who was a precursor of Peruvian and Spanish American independence. According to the historian Charles Walker she played a much greater role in the Tupac Amaru rebellion that many had thought.

The first woman who had access to university education in Peru was the Cusqueñan Trinidad María Enríquez Ladrón de Guevara. Another great woman from Cusco, Another great woman from Cusco, Clorinda Matto de Turner is considered one of the precursors of the Hispanic American novel and of the indigenist genre.

Many times, in a machista society like Cusco, the role of women is to stay on the sidelines without greater expectations beyond their being housewives. In reality, however, our women are playing an ever greater role in the development of our society.

We see this strongly in the popularity of our congresswoman Verónika Mendoza. Vero as she is commonly called—is running for Peru’s presidency at the head of the Frente Amplio party, She and Keiko Fujimori are shaping a field otherwise dominated by men.

Nevertheless, the two women are quite different. While Keiko was the first lady of Peru, when very young during her father’s presidency, and maintained a position in congress though seldom there, Vero has been a strong voice for Cusco and its historic political position, the left, in the national parliament. Verónika has stood out because of her commitment to women. One of the most reported cases was when she stood up to the mayor of Wanchaq, a district of Cusco, to defend the women who sell emolientes (hot teas).

Starting the night in the Imperial City of Cuzco
Starting the night in the Imperial City of Cuzco

Verónika has a firm political position with clear ideas and an open mind. She has shown herself in favor of dialogue when it comes to many themes called scandalous in our conservative society that is strongly influenced by the Church. She is in favor of separating the state and the Catholic Church. When asked about the de-penalization of marijuana, abortion, or civil unions she supported these positions and left many of her conservative candidates apoplectic during a presidential debate.

In her latest participation in the forum “Presidential Candidates Facing Corruption”, organized by the Proética commission, Verónika spoke forcefully against corruption in our country where corruption often seems a way of political life and where we have been absorbed in all kinds of scandals around corrupt officials and civil leaders. She sounded a theme that resonates in our country where people are dissatisfied with a set of candidates filled with ex-presidents who have many denunciations of corruption and violation of human rights against them

Unlike our traditional politicians, the Cusqueñan Verónika Mendoza surges as a promising alternative candidate who offers government dedicated to human development in Peru.

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