Peru’s Government Reorganizes Mega Shopping Center

(LIP-ir) — Peru’s Minister of the Interior, Luis Alva Castro stated that one of the reasons the mega shopping center known as "Gamarra" was being closed for 48 hours, was to clear it of all dangers and avoid another tragedy, such as the one that happened in 2001 in downtown Lima.

"This type of work is important. We’ve moved nearly 3,000 informal street vendors, which have admitted that hazards exist and were witnesses to what happened at "Mesa Redonda." They have cooperated with us," said Alva Castro.

Alberto Sánchez Aizcorbe, Mayor of La Victoria, the district where Gamarra is located, stated that when he looked at Gamarra he saw a shopping center similar to Jockey Plaza, an upscale shopping mall in Lima, Peru.

The Mayor told Andina News Agency, "I look at Gamarra as if I were looking at Jockey Plaza, no longer with 18 entrances, but with six controlled entrances, with sidewalks to stroll on and with two taxi companies that will be authorized by the municipality to enter (Gamarra)."

Sánchez Aizcorbe explained that to reach such a goal the first step was to clear the area of informal street vendors, clean the streets and take down all illegal electric and telephone connections – all of which where a hazard to the thousands of shoppers that visit Gamarra daily.

The mayor also explained that a program would soon be put into effect in which the informal vendors which had been removed could continue working in the area and not be negatively affected by the improvements Gamarra was undergoing.