Inicio INTERNACIONAL Sobrevivir en la frontera: extrema pobreza en las orillas del Putumayo

Sobrevivir en la frontera: extrema pobreza en las orillas del Putumayo

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Enfermedades y carencias afectan a dos mil habitantes de la frontera con Colombia. El Estado busca atenuar años de abandono e indiferencia

Son las 10:29 a.m. y San Antonio del Estrecho (Loreto) debe arder a no menos de 35 grados. En las calles de esta localidad enclavada al borde del río Putumayo, en la frontera con Colombia, no hay señal de una población en trajín constante. Todo parece quieto y similar.

En el pueblo, extensos sectores de vegetación espesa están salpicados de construcciones de madera. Algunas casas aún llevan las pintas de cuatro agrupaciones políticas que disputaron un reducido electorado
en los últimos comicios.

La mayoría de los vecinos son campesinos y madres dedicados a la pesca y al cultivo de yuca y plátano. Hoy, un puñado de ellos merodea la plaza principal y enarbola banderitas de papel o pancartas de colores. Es una especie de junta de bienvenida para la comitiva del Ministerio de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social (Midis) que ha llegado
en visita de supervisión.

Dentro del local municipal, la titular del sector, Fiorella Molinelli, tratará de exponer el plan de acción que ejecuta el Estado desde el 2015 para enfrentar algunas necesidades del pueblo. Pero quizá estimulados por la inusual cantidad de autoridades en el lugar, los
campesinos no tardarán en demandar agua potable y medicinas, en un tumulto.

“Solo tenemos agua de pozo, por eso hay muchos niños con males parasitarios”, cuenta a El Comercio la única enfermera del Centro de Atención Primaria (CAP 1) de Essalud. Ella estima que solo en la última semana asistió a tres menores embarazadas y a siete niños
con anemia y desnutrición.

En el CAP 1 solo hay un médico que atiende a los habitantes de San Antonio del Estrecho y a los que consiguen llegar de alguna de las 82 comunidades dispersas a lo largo del río Putumayo. Allá residen 2.079 peruanos, pero no hay un servicio de transporte fijo que siquiera los acerque a este lugar. De hecho, las menores gestantes
que hace pocos días recibieron atención en el CAP 1 fueron traídas en lanchas de pescadores desde el Alto Putumayo.

San Antonio del Estrecho es una localidad con poco acceso a los alimentos. Hay electricidad por horas y dos precarios colegios con internado. Uno de ellos es el plantel Padre Medardo André, que alberga entre marzo y diciembre a 200 chicos, en su mayoría, de la cuenca del Putumayo.

El colegio Medardo André bien puede ser el último bastión de patriotismo en esta parte del país: los alumnos cantan el himno nacional y practican danzas peruanas típicas. Algo que en los caseríos fronterizos es totalmente desconocido.

Melissa, una de las alumnas de 13 años, proviene de la comunidad de Puerto Alegre, una de las más cercanas a Colombia.

Dice que casi todos sus amigos de allá van a estudiar al municipio colombiano de Puerto Leguízamo. Los escolares cruzan en canoas unos 150 metros de río, a diario, y en poco tiempo aprenden a la perfección el himno y las costumbres del país fronterizo. Los vecinos
de Melissa hacen el mismo recorrido para trabajar, obtener servicios en salud y proveerse de alimentos frescos.

Otra adolescente del mismo plantel cuenta que el viaje al Estrecho
desde Soplín Vargas, la comunidad donde nació, tarda cinco días por el río Putumayo. Hasta hace poco, los males endémicos en su caserío eran atendidos solo por médicos colombianos de paso. Aunque
infrecuentes, recuerda, esas visitas eran una bendición para aquel pueblo donde la gente suele fallecer por infecciones.

Mientras el lado colombiano de la frontera acoge a peruanos que trabajan en ganaderías o comercios con luz eléctrica permanente; a 100 o 200 metros de río las condiciones peruanas son paupérrimas.

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