Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Kirkland vs. Bellevue

In the most bizarre news to date here in Peru, there was a massive brawl between two districts in Lima. I still can't believe it happened. I'll call the two districts Ballard and Greenlake to give you a better feel as to what the equivalent situation would be in Seattle.

There's a park between Ballard and Greenlake whom both districts have claimed as their own for some time. In Lima, a park is a status symbol because Lima is in a dessert and there isn't much greenery. All the upperclass districts have many parks and the poorer districts have few or no parks. One day last week the mayor of Greenlake decided to claim the park once and for all and got it officially declared by a judge that the park was property of Greenlake. The next day, the mayor of Ballard was outraged and hired 600 young men (as I'll call them...everyone here called them thugs) and marched to the park and put up a monument officially declaring that the park was the property of Ballard. Word of this got back to the mayor of Greenlake who, not being a brave man, got his vice-mayor to go down to the park with 600 other young men (aka "thugs") he hired to reclaim the park. An all-out brawl ensued between two neighboring districts in the same city including elected officials on both sides. Over 100 people were injured in the fight. Miraculously no one was killed. People brought molotov cocktails, bats, guns and anything else they could find. By the end of the day Ballard had surrounded Greenlake and Greenlake fighters were fleeing by truck.

Mind you this is two mayors who both hired thugs to go fight eachother. This isn't a random gang fight. It is an officially sanctioned riot between two adjacent districts in Lima. I wish I had a link to post of the fight. If I find one I'll post it.


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