Eight thousand slum dwellers have launched a mass squatting campaign for Government housing aid by taking over land near the Presidential Palace in Lima on Saturday (14 February).
TS ALONG Road showing refugee huts at base of mountains (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Women washing clothes in river TO Camp in background (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Women TO Tents and huts and cooking utensils
SV Women and children walking children walking through camp.
CU Man shovelling dry earth in front of tent
GV PAN ALONG Sanitation ditch
SV INTERIOR OF HUT Official talking to group
GV Mounted police patrolling camp area
Initials CL/2330 CL/0006
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Background: Eight thousand slum dwellers have launched a mass squatting campaign for Government housing aid by taking over land near the Presidential Palace in Lima on Saturday (14 February).
Plastic, cardboard and bamboo shelters thrown up overnight turned once empty fields into another crowded slum and as more people poured into the riverside area, families were reduced to staking "claims" on small patches of ground.
The aim of the organisers is to persuade the Government to give their "settlement" New Town status -- this guarantees a community's existence and entitles it to government aid.
The squat is the latest move in the campaign that has seen dozens of similar slum suburbs spring up around Lima, a fast growing sprawling city of four million people.
The Military Government, alarmed by uncontrolled growth, has tried moving families away from newly invaded areas. However, there was little they could do when the real owner of the latest squat site reported his land had been taken over. And, because the Government says it is transforming Peruvian society to improve the lot of the poor, it's unlikely to order wholesale eviction.
Meanwhile the squatters have started to organise their new community. Garbage is being collected and burned. Irrigation channels are being dug for water, and the Red Cross has set up a medical post to help with medicines and sanitation.