The Trial Lawyer, Peru and COVID

by | May 12, 2020 | Articles | 0 comments

This time I take the liberty of sharing a little of the experience of the trial lawyer in his daily work, the same that in times of coronavirus has been “suspended”.

It is clear that those of us who are dedicated to the technical defense of natural and legal persons, either personally or as members of a law firm or legal boutique, do not deploy our work only in the city where we live, because many times we must travel to the place of the incident or event that gives rise to the controversy in which we will participate, assuming the defense of one of the parties involved in the same.

We have had the opportunity to make unthinkable trips, to places we never knew that existed and to get to know impressive realities. It is one thing to be told about it, it is another thing to be part of the situation! I will comment on a couple of unforgettable memories.

Years ago, I was summoned to intervene in the defense of a company that had suffered the assault of its facilities and loss of possession of the same, said company operates in the jungle of our country, so it was necessary to move to the place of the facts; I learned of the existence of a Mixed Court, which happened to be competent to know the investigation, since the facts had occurred within its jurisdiction. I then proceeded to schedule the trip, which involved taking a plane from Lima to Tarapoto, then a short three-hour trip by land to Yurimaguas, and then travel by plane for an hour to reach our final destination.

About to land at our destination, I was looking out the small window of the plane and could not see the airport, when suddenly, Carlos -pilot of the plane who always wore a flashy floral shirt- announced that we were about to land, great was my surprise when we landed in the middle of the jungle, A makeshift landing strip – the locals say that it was made possible by people engaged in some illicit activity – but it was useful for those of us who had the possibility to travel by air (the flight took one hour, the river trip lasted three days).

The day of my arrival it had rained a lot, so the motorcycle cab that took me to the town square took longer than expected (we both got off the motorcycle driver and passenger to dig out the vehicle three times, because the mud was playing a trick on us). Once in the square, I consulted where the Court was and I went immediately to consult about my case. After my interview with the Magistrate and my reading of the case file (8 volumes), I went to buy my return ticket (it was not possible to buy a round trip ticket), with the surprise that I was the only passenger for that day, so I had to wait for the other 5 available seats on the plane to be purchased. Fortunately, the next day 4 people would travel, which was enough to proceed with the return trip.

On another occasion, I had to schedule a trip to legally attend an accident occurred in the facilities of a company dedicated to the generation of electricity, this time I was traveling with an executive of the company (client), who was in charge of the entire itinerary, the same that had as a starting point a flight from Lima to the always charming Arequipa, and then by land a 12-hour trip, until we arrived at a town at five thousand meters above sea level and 10 degrees below zero at night (we arrived at about 9 pm), we stayed in a small hostel, where they provided us with everything from fleece sheets to hot water bags in order to “combat” the terrible cold. The next day, we went to the Prosecutor’s Office to know the status of the investigation, and to make ourselves available to provide any documentation and information that might be required. The same day we scheduled our return to Arequipa.

In both experiences and now memories, we got to know a reality different from the one lived in Lima or in any capital city of a Department, that is, very poor localities, that in spite of belonging to zones benefited by the exploitation of their natural resources, they continue living in a precarious situation. The Court and the Public Prosecutor’s Office may have had the best local infrastructure, but in spite of that, they were only a couple of rooms in which they did wonders to be able to count on the necessary things to carry out their work. In the first case, there is only electric light in the whole town three hours a day, so a generator must be used to be able to work; in the second case, they had to share electric heaters to face the inclement cold.

That is the reality of our country, that is the reality in which the trial lawyer is immersed, when he assumes an itinerant professional development, a reality that adds not only in professional development, but also in the growth as a human being, because you learn from people who with fewer logistical resources, do a commendable job, such as magistrates, prosecutors, secretaries, assistants, etc., who work in these areas.

Faced with this reality -made up of a not easy transfer, severe climates, and much poverty- it is impossible not to ask, are the people who live in these localities and the foreigners who work there on the radar of the results of contagion and exposure to Covid-19? I hope you can help me answer this question.

Consequently, we must be clear that Peru is not only Lima and the departmental capitals, it is much more, that is why we must take care of those who need it most, because imagine what would happen if the members of a locality such as the examples above are infected, who will help them, if the help in the “big” cities has already collapsed.