Foreword editor THT June edition

Doing the right things.

Publishing a newspaper comes with many responsibilities and trying to do the right thing doesn’t automatically mean you´re making friends; on the contrary, it creates enemies. In our last edition, faithful readers have enjoyed a very interesting survey we conducted among 14 agencies in Huaraz, with for me personally no surprising results. What was surprising was the feedback we got from those same agencies. One of the agencies, mentioned in the article called Agencies Scrutinised, went to La Oficina de Información Turística i-Perú (i-Peru) to complain about it. After Laura Rodriguez, head of i-Peru had read the article she came to the following interesting conclusion: ¨We agree with the author of the article.¨ At The Huaraz Telegraph we are trying to inform the readers by being as objective as possible. I could use this little space in my foreword to inform the readers about other more interesting feedback from the agencies, but this is probably going to result in a new article we will publish next month. Despite the fact that most agencies do not benefit the tourist business but only do harm, there are more important things to discuss. In addition, no one has ever mentioned to me that they actually read this foreword.

Our top story in the June edition of The Huaraz Telegraph is about the battle of the hostels against the touts at the bus station of Cruz del Sur, a very delicate item because none of the hostel representatives wanted their name printed in the paper. Despite the fact that more than 25 hostels and hotels signed a document, which was presented at the headquarters of Cruz del Sur in Lima, they are not as united as they seem. One of the hostels where The Huaraz Telegraph is freely available works as – or works with – touts. According to Cruz del Sur´s management, the terminal should be freed from the touts from the beginning of June but this doesn’t mean the problem is solved. The touts will just go to the other terminals because in Huaraz, and not like in Arequipa, Cusco and Puno, there is no shared terminal where tourists can do their shopping. On the day of writing the foreword I met a French girl who was swindled by Jhonny Tours. Time was too short to do an interview but to summarise she bought a trek at the bus station when she was told it was “the last seat on the bus”. My sub-editor prohibits me to say “stupid” so let´s call her on this occasion at least very naïve. I am pretty sure that the last word on the touts in Huaraz hasn’t been said.

Ending on a positive note, two weeks ago I got a phone call from Lewis Charles Cornelius who is a South-African prisoner suffering from HIV in the local prison in Huaraz. He was at the hospital for his biannual check-up and I paid him a visit. We already wrote two articles about his case and circumstances in the penitentiary. He asked me if I could help him to get out of the prison because he has repeatedly claimed that he should have been released already. I promised him to send a couple of emails to South-African newspapers and to call the South-African embassy. Within three days I received two replies from Cape Times and Daily News and both have being trying to contact Lewis to hear his story, and another one has contacted the South-African embassy. Hopefully in the next edition, we will have more news about his case and find out whether the South-African newspapers have had a positive input.

Rex Broekman

Founder and editor of The Huaraz Telegraph

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