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> Peruvian Government Kills Indigenous Protesters, from "Republic of Lakotah - Mitakuye Oyasin"
Fremen Bryan
post Jun 9 2009, 12:21 PM
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"The Sleeper must awaken"

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Peruvian Government Kills Indigenous Protesters

from: "Republic of Lakotah - Mitakuye Oyasin"
to: "Fremen Bryan"
Monday, June 8, 2009 4:57 PM

Dear Supporter of Freedom,

On Friday, June 5th, the Peruvian Government killed as many as 80 people after it staged a pre-dawn raid on a group of unarmed protesters. The local Police, armed in riot gear, opened fire on the non-violent indigneous people, who were performing civil disobedience in response to the government giving 170,000 square miles of their Amazonian homeland to multi-national oil and mining companies. The Peruvian Government did so without the consent or even consultation of the local indigenous people, who have lived in the Peruvian Amazon for over a thousand years. The attacks, which included the Police firing from helicopters, have killed women and children and there have been eye-witness reports of Police burning bodies and dumping them into the Marañon River. After the assault, the Government defended the police actions by calling the protesters 'terrorists' and 'anti-democratic', while referring to the slain Police, many of whom are indigenous themselves, as war heroes.

Among the protesters demands are the immediate repeal of a series of Governmental decrees, which allow multi-national oil and mining companies to bypass local approval for extraction, provide incentives for large land-owners to seize small farms and make moves to privitize the water supply. AIDESEP, a group representing 350,000 persons over 1400 indigenous groups who have been leading non-violent actions for the last 8 weeks, is calling for a nation-wide strike and as well as world-wide actions on Thursday, June 11th 2009.

We are asking you to join us and the indigenous protesters in calling for an immediate end to the violence, the immediate release of the 150 people still being detained by the Police and the immediate end to stalling by the government in revoking the delcarations that the Peruvian Congress themselves have declared Unconstitutional.

All persons of conscience should recognize the fundamental rights of the persons to protest peacefully, to protect their home from exploitation and to be acknowledged as human beings by their own country and the world.

We will be posting further updates on republicoflakotah.com as they arise and will be sending out regular e-mail blasts. Please take the time to spread the word amongst your friends, family and co-workers.

In Solidarity,

Republic of Lakotah

* * * * * * *


Massacre in Peru - Government Kills Unarmed Protesters
June 8, 2009 by admin1

The following report first appeared on:



On June 6, near a stretch of highway known as the Devil's Curve in the northern Peruvian Amazon, police began firing live rounds into a multitude of indigenous protestors — many wearing feathered crowns and carrying spears. In the neighboring towns of Bagua Grande, Bagua Chica and Utcubamba, shots also came from police snipers on rooftops, and from a helicopter that hovered above the mass of people. Both natives and mestizos took to the streets protesting the bloody repression. From his office in Bagua a representative for the international organization "Save the Children" reported that children as young as four years-old were wounded by indiscriminate police shooting. President Alan García had hinted the government would respond forcefully to "restore order" in the insurgent Amazonian provinces, where he had declared a state of siege on May 9 suspending most constitutional liberties. The repression was swift and fierce.

By the end of the day a number of government and the president's party APRA offices were destroyed, 9 policemen and approximately 40 protesters were killed. Overwhelmed by the number of the wounded small local hospitals were forced to close their doors. A doctor in Bagua Grande described the repression as a "barbarian act" similar to those committed in Beirut by the Israeli occupying forces a few years ago. A Church official denounced that many of the civilian wounded and killed at the Devil's Curve were forcefully taken to the military barracks of El Milagro. From Bagua, a local journalist declared to Ideele Radio that following the killings policemen dumped bagged bodies in the Utcubamba River. Indigenous leaders have accused García of "genocide" and have called for an international campaign of solidarity with their struggle. Indigenous unrest in the Peruvian Amazon began late last year. After an ebb of a few months, the uprising regained force again on April 9. Since then, Amazonian indigenous groups have sustained intensifying protests for more than two months, including shutdowns of oil and gas pumping stations as well as blockades of road and river traffic.

The Devil's Curve massacre is not the only instance of repression. García recently sent in the Navy to violently break through indigenous blockades on the Napo River, also in northern Peru. But few expected such a violent reaction from the government. García says the response was appropriate and blamed the indigenous for thinking they could decide what happens in their territories: "These people don't have crowns. They aren't first-class citizens who can say… 'You [the government] don't have the right to be here.' No way." The president called the protestors "pseudo-indigenous."

Indigenous representative Alberto Pizango called Devil's Curve the "worst slaughter of our people in 20 years." And added, "Our protest has been peaceful." We're 5,000 natives [in the blockade] that just want respect for our territory and the environment."

Protestor's top demand is the repeal of a series of decrees, known collectively as the "Law of the Jungle," signed by García last year. The President decreed the legislative package using extraordinary powers granted to him by Peru's Congress to enact legislation required by the 2006 U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. Indigenous groups are also demanding the creation of a permanent commission with indigenous representation to discuss solutions to their territorial, developmental, health and educational problems.

One of the most controversial aspects of the decrees is that they allow private interests to buy up indigenous lands and resources. Following a colonial logic of "progress," García's decrees foster the commodification of indigenous territories, ecological reserves, communal and public lands, water, and biogenetic resources to the benefit of powerful transnational interests. What's more, the "Law of the Jungle" implicitly conceives of indigenous Amazonia as an open, empty, bountiful, and underdeveloped frontier and its inhabitants as obstacles to neoliberal modernization and investment schemes.

History of Plunder and Resistance

Neoliberal elites are apparently oblivious to indigenous historical agency and political activism in Peru, where there is a long-standing trajectory of Amazonian insurgency. Since the eighteenth century, indigenous groups in the rainforest have successfully rolled back the incursions of colonial missionaries, rubber barons, gold miners, lumber contractors, Sendero Luminoso guerrillas and others whose expansion represented a direct and serious threat to their cultural autonomy and territorial integrity.

García and his predecessors have tried to give transnational companies – logging, oil, mining, and pharmaceutical etc. – unfettered access to the Amazon's riches. The potential plunder not only poses a threat to the very existence of indigenous peoples, but also presents a serious danger to the region's diverse and fragile ecosystems.

Protests have occurred in the past, but this time is different: The scope of the ongoing mobilizations, which cover almost the totality of Peru's Amazonian territories, is historically unprecedented, as is the government's violent reaction. Coordinating the mobilization effort is the Inter-Ethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Amazon (Aidesep), an umbrella group of indigenous organizations. Established almost three decades ago through the incorporation of more than 80 federations and regional organizations, Aidesep's reach and strength rests on its 1,350 affiliated communities representing 65 different Amazonian peoples.

Under mounting pressure from the protests, the government finally agreed to a closed-door meeting held the morning of May 27 in Lima with indigenous representatives. (Aidesep had demanded such a meeting for years.) Prime Minister Yehude Simon – himself a former leftist and political prisoner – and Aidesep representative Alberto Pizango held a brief press conference after the sitdown announcing the start of formal negotiations.

Following weeks of a racist and dirty government campaign against indigenous leaders, a subdued Simon acknowledged both the García administration's "bad communications" and – more importantly – "the lack of a state policy towards Amazon communities for over a century." He also emphasized government willingness to revise and modify the Garcia's decrees.

Meanwhile, a defiant Pizango maintained that Aidesep's campaign of civil disobedience would only be lifted with the total repeal of García's "Law of the Jungle." Pizango also announced a platform of issues that indigenous representatives planned to bring to the table, including points on indigenous territorial rights, self-determination, health and education, development, and cultural integrity.

Failed Talks, Failed Government

The last time the government agreed to negotiations in August 2008 – again, under pressure from an indigenous uprising – the talks collapsed due to government unwillingness to engage indigenous representatives in a respectful and honest manner. Aidesep withdrew from the talks when the government tried to undermine the group's position by inviting (unannounced) groups of indigenous leaders and academics aligned both with the government's discredited Development Institute for Andean, Indigenous, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples (INDEPA), and the Confederation of Amazonian Nationalities (CONAPA) made by a small number of opportunistic Indigenous leaders.

Using INDEPA and CONAPA the government has initiated "cooperation agreements" between friendly indigenous communities and foreign oil and gas companies. Outraged by their presence at the negotiating table Aidesep denounced the move as a "smoke screen" covering up the government's spurious collusion with the gas and oil industries.

Meanwhile, Aidesep kept open negotiations with members of Congress, where its demands received support from the left-of-center opposition and even some members of García's ruling party. When the parties established formal negotiations (Mesa de Diálogo), both vowing to take steps toward finding a solution to indigenous demands, Aidesep honored the compromise and halted protests on August 20, ending the 11-day uprising. With growing popular sympathy with indigenous demands and support from the political opposition in late September, congress passed a law that canceled two of the most odious presidential decrees that sought to diminish indigenous territorial rights and political autonomy.

Aidesep's direct action campaign marked the emergence of Amazonian indigenous peoples as an influential and autonomous force in Peru's current political landscape. The mobilization also sparked a public realization that the defense of Amazonian resources is an issue of national importance and not only a regional or indigenous problem. The indigenous uprising has also increased public awareness of the predatory nature of free trade, the prevalence of public good over private interests, and the meaning and importance of citizen participation in the formulation of a sustainable and democratic future. All of this constitutes a healthy questioning of the toxic neoliberal paradigm based on the commodification of life and resources as the only possible alternative to "progress" and "modernization."

In October 2008, video recordings surfaced of conversations between high-ranking officials from the García administration and a lobbyist for transnational gas and oil companies. The recordings show the men negotiating the fraudulent concession of oil rights in natural reserves and indigenous territories. The video not only starkly revealed he real intentions behind the "Law of the Jungle" and Peru's handful of recently negotiated free trade agreements, but also further boosted Aidesep's legitimacy and the moral authority of its struggle. The scandal also helped catalyze the current Amazonian insurgency, coalescing an emerging popular and autonomous anti-systemic bloc and further diminished García's popularity, which has hovered at an abysmal 30 percent in the city of Lima alone.

Amazon 'Insurgency' Declared

By late March, triggered by renewed incursions into their territories, abusive labor conditions in the gas and oil industry, the high levels of contamination and government reluctance to address their demands, indigenous peoples in various Amazonian localities staged a number of marches, demonstrations, blockades, and hunger strikes. Incensed by the government's repressive response to their demands and its threat to declare a state of emergency in the most combative Amazonian provinces, Aidesep renewed mobilizations, blocking ground and river traffic, and occupying hydrocarbon installations.

In an April 9 declaration, Aidesep demanded that Congress rescind the "Law of the Jungle," establish a Mesa de Dialogo, and the creation of new branches of government charged with implementing "intercultural" solutions to indigenous health and education problems. The document also calls for the recognition of indigenous collective property rights, guarantees for special territorial reserves of communities in voluntary isolation, and the suspension of land concessions to oil, gas, mining, lumber, and tourism industries. Indigenous organizations are also demanding a new constitution that incorporates the United Nation's Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the International Labor Organization's Convention 169, both of which grant indigenous rights to territorial and cultural autonomy. Finally, the April declaration also calls for the suspension of the government's free trade agreements with he United States, the European Union, Chile, and China, which violate indigenous territorial rights and Amazonian biodiversity.

As indigenous groups escalated their direct action campaign, the government declared a state of siege on May 9 in four of the most militant provinces of Amazonia. Despite the crackdown, Aidesep has gained sympathy and solidarity from broad sectors of Peruvian society. Unions, popular organizations, and highland peasant and indigenous groups have staged "Civic Strikes" and other protest actions. Elected municipal and regional authorities across the country have also expressed their support. While Catholic bishops across the Amazon region have called on the faithful to support indigenous demands, stating the "rich cultural and biological diversity" of the region represents a "source of life and hope for humanity."

On May 27, Peru was rocked by a national day of protest called by the country's largest trade union federation and other social movement umbrella groups. Thousands took to the street protesting García's neoliberal policies and to express their solidarity with Aidesep struggle. In Lima a massive march arrived to the steps of Congress, demanding that the Law of the Jungle be declared unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the just-concluded Fourth Continental Indigenous People's Summit of Abya-Yala, which was held in southern Peru, called for an international day of action in solidarity with the Amazonian uprising. The Communitarian Front in Defense of Life and Sovereignty established by AIDESEP together with labor, Andean indigenous, campesino and popular organizations have called for a day of protest and mobilization on June 11.

The Law of the Jungle

A report from the government's Ombudsman Office not only declared the unconstitutionality of García's decrees, but also noted the legitimacy of indigenous people's campaign of civil disobedience. In Congress, the Constitutional Committee declared two of the presidential decrees unconstitutional. But under pressure from the executive, García's APRA party, with support from followers of jailed former President Fujimori and other rightwing political parties, has blocked discussion of the Constitutional Committee's resolution. Some congressional deputies simply vow to abstain from voting, while others have been forced by their constituents to side with the opposition in declaring the Law of the Jungle unconstitutional.

By the time June came around, the situation deteriorated. Aidesep walked away from the incipient talks with the government, citing the executive's refusal to acknowledge broadening public rejection of the decrees. The government responded with increased repression that culminated – so far – with the Devil's Curve massacre. García also lashed out against Radio de la Selva, an Amazonian radio station that has been critical of the government. The attorney general is considering charging the station with inciting public unrest. When the military violently broke up the river blockade on the Napo, spontaneous protests erupted against the Navy.

La Lucha Continua

The declaration of martial law in the provinces of Bagua and Utcubamba, were the bloodiest repression took place, and the trumped-up charges of rioting have forced many of AIDESEP leaders underground. Repression however has not deterred the mobilization. In a newspaper posting a teacher from Bagua reported that many non-indigenous persons joined the protests on June 6 after the Army blocked the efforts of neighbors to help with medicine and water the wounded natives at the Devil's Curve. Later in the day the indiscriminate shooting that provoked the death of children and passers-by further infuriated the population. Even before the violent June 6 repression labor and popular forces in many provinces and regions have declared strikes in solidarity with the Amazonian uprising. Driving on these expanding discontent a broad range of popular resistance and oppositional forces have coalesced around the Communitarian Front in Defense of Life and Sovereignty formed on June 4. The front has issue a call to mobilize in solidarity with the Amazonian peoples, and to repeal the "Law of the Jungle," legislation criminalizing social protest, and Free Trade agreements. The clergy from the Catholic Church have rejected the repression and reiterated their support for indigenous demands. In a joint letter the Ombudsman Office and the clergy call the government to privilege peace and negotiation over repression and violence in the resolution of Amazonian demands. In a previous statement the priests expressed their discontent with the "attitude taken by the government, foreign and national businessmen and a large sector of the media" against "the just demands of Amazonian indigenous peoples." (These conservative sectors have ridiculously dismissed the protests as the work of presidents Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales.)

Although at the moment the outcome of this crisis are highly uncertain, the Earth Day killings however have certainly put and to the Garcia's studied double speech. His evidently well-planned counterinsurgent operative have put to rest his conciliatory rhetoric of simulated negotiation revealing his naked slavishness to transnational interests. The repression and media fear mongering campaign are driven by the government's will to open Peruvian Amazonia to the exclusive benefit of energy, hydrocarbon, agribusiness, lumber and mining corporations. One of the largest repositories of water, biodiversity, hydrocarbons and minerals in the planet the region stands as the last frontier to the rule of capital. Hence the strategic importance of Indigenous peoples participation in the formation of an antisystemic bloc of forces and the formulation of a democratic and post-capitalist programmatic alternative. From this perspective the political emergence of indigenous peoples also marks a turning point in the reconfiguration of the popular anti-systemic forces from its current weakness and dispersion deepened among other factor by leftwing loss of revolutionary will to think the future beyond electoral politics and capitalist markets. In the most immediate scenario however the next weeks will be crucial for the outcome of the crisis opened with the June 6 repression. International solidarity with the AIDESEP struggle will be central to deter the predatory advance of capital and the defense of Amazonia that –as pointed out by the Catholic clergy in Peru– "is not of the exclusive concern of Peruvian citizens but of all humanity."

This post has been edited by Fremen Bryan: Jun 9 2009, 12:23 PM

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Fremen Bryan
post Jun 12 2009, 10:54 AM
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PERU: ‘Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River’
June 11, 2009

The following report first appeared at:

Written by Milagros Salazar
Tuesday, 09 June 2009

(IPS) - There are conflicting reports on a violent incident in Peru’s Amazon jungle region in which both police officers and indigenous protesters were killed.

The authorities, who describe last Friday’s incident as a “clash” between the police and protesters manning a roadblock, say 22 policemen and nine civilians were killed.

But leaders of the two-month roadblock say at least 40 indigenous people, including three children, were killed and that the authorities are covering up the massacre by throwing bodies in the river.

And foreign activists on the scene in the town of Bagua, in the northern province of Amazonas, report that the police opened fire early in the morning on the unarmed protesters, some of whom were still sleeping, and deliberately mowed them down as they held up their arms or attempted to flee.

In response, the activists quote eyewitnesses as saying, another group of indigenous people who were farther up the hill seized and killed a number of police officers, apparently in “self-defence.”

National ombudswoman Beatriz Merino reported Sunday night that at least 24 police and 10 civilians had been killed, and that 89 indigenous people had been wounded and 79 arrested. But the figures continue to grow.

“We have killed each other, Peruvians against Peruvians,” lamented indigenous leader Shapion Noningo, the new spokesman for the Peruvian Rainforest Inter-Ethnic Development Association (AIDESEP) - which groups 28 federations of indigenous peoples - said Sunday night.

AIDESEP has led the protests that began two months ago, which have included blockades of traffic along roads and rivers and occupations of oil industry installations in various provinces.

A few hours earlier, President Alán García had said there was “a conspiracy afoot to try to keep us from making use of our natural wealth.” He was referring to the fierce opposition by the country’s native peoples to 10 decrees issued by his government that open up indigenous land to private investment by oil, mining and logging companies and to agribusiness, including biofuel plantations.

The decrees, which were passed by the government under special powers received from Congress to facilitate implementation of Peru’s free trade agreement with the United States, are considered unconstitutional by the indigenous protesters. A legislative committee also recommended last December that they be overturned.

On Thursday, Jun. 4, governing party lawmakers suspended a debate on one of the decrees, the “forestry and wildlife law”, fuelling the demonstrators’ anger.

“In whose interest is it for Peru not to use its natural gas; in whose interest is it for Peru not to find more oil; in whose interest is it for Peru not to exploit its minerals more effectively and on a larger-scale? We know whose interests this serves,” said García. “The important thing is to identify the ties between these international networks that are emerging to foment unrest.”

The president blamed the conflict on “international competitors,” but without naming names.

Two neighbouring countries that are major producers of natural gas and oil, Venezuela and Bolivia, are governed by left-wing administrations that have been vociferous critics of “neoliberal” free trade economic policies like those followed by the García administration.

“We will not give in to violence or blackmail,” said the president, who maintained that Peru “is suffering from subversive aggression” fed by opponents who “have taken the side of extreme savagery.”

A large number of the traffic blockades on roads and rivers are in the northern and northeastern provinces of Loreto, San Martín and Amazonas, which have large natural gas reserves.

According to the 1993 census, indigenous people made up one-third of the Peruvian population. But more recent estimates put the proportion at 45 percent, with most of the rest of the population of 28 million being of mixed-race heritage.

In Loreto, indigenous protesters reportedly attempted to occupy installations belonging to the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol. The company said it had closed down activity on its 1AB lot, to avoid violent clashes.

Business associations estimate the losses caused by the protests at more than 186 million dollars.

The government is broadcasting a television spot showing images of dead policemen, along with messages like: “This is how extremism is acting against Peru”; “extremists encouraged from abroad want to block progress in Peru”; and “we must unite against crime, to keep the fatherland from backsliding from the progress made.”

Leaders of the indigenous protests say the government is manipulating information and blaming them for incidents that could have been avoided if Congress had repealed the decrees that sparked the first native “uprising” in August 2008, which flared up again in April this year.

“The government is underreporting the number of indigenous people killed and missing. It is insulting us and treating us like criminals, when all we are doing is defending ourselves and our territory, which is humanity’s heritage,” Walter Kategari, a member of the AIDESEP board of directors, told IPS.

Kategari forms part of AIDESEP’s new leadership, which was formed when the group’s top leader, Alberto Pizango, went into hiding after a warrant for his arrest was put out on Saturday. Pizango said he fears for his life.

The leaders of the indigenous movement are demanding that the curfew prohibiting people from leaving their homes in Bagua between 3:00 PM and 6:00 AM be lifted. According to Kategari, the curfew is being used to conceal the bodies of the Indians who were killed.

“Our brothers and sisters in Bagua say the police have been collecting the bodies, putting them in black bags and throwing them in the river from a helicopter,” Kategari told IPS. “The government cannot make our dead disappear.”

There is great insecurity and fear in the jungle, he added. “People are calling us on the telephone, desperate.” He said he is preparing a list of victims based on the names he has been given by people in Bagua, to counteract the official reports.

Gregor MacLennan, programme coordinator for the international organisation Amazon Watch, said “All eyewitness testimonies say that Special Forces opened fire on peaceful and unarmed demonstrators, including from helicopters, killing and wounding dozens in an orchestrated attempt to open the roads. “It seems that the police had come with orders to shoot. This was not a clash, but a coordinated police raid with police firing on protesters from both sides of their blockade,” added the activist, speaking from the town of Bagua. “Today I spoke to many eyewitnesses in Bagua reporting that they saw police throw the bodies of the dead into the Marañon river from a helicopter in an apparent attempt by the government to underreport the number of indigenous people killed by police,” said MacLennan, in an Amazon Watch statement.

“Hospital workers in Bagua Chica and Bagua Grande corroborated that the police took bodies of the dead from their premises to an undisclosed location,” he added.

According to MacLennan, shortly before the killings in Bagua, the police chief and mayors met with the indigenous leaders, and the police chief said he had orders to dismantle the roadblock.

Early Friday morning, the activist told Amy Goodman in an interview on the Democracy Now radio programme, an estimated 500 police bore down on the protesters at the roadblock, some of whom were still sleeping, and opened fire.

MacLennan said a local leader told him that demonstrators kneeling down with their hands up were directly shot by the police. After that, he said, the police continued firing as the demonstrators attempted to flee.

With respect to the deaths of the policemen, he said “All the indigenous people I’ve spoken to are very upset about that equally…they say…they’re all Peruvians, and they all have families. It appears that as the police were attacking this huge group of indigenous people…some people came down from the mountains, who were sleeping up there, and jumped on the police and killed some of the police in self-defence, an act that’s understandable, but, as the leaders I’ve spoken to say, not excusable.”

He said the indigenous leaders want a “transparent” investigation and for all of those responsible for the killings to be brought to justice.

Unconstitutional government decrees
AIDESEP spokesman Noningo said “the political system has fomented this confrontation.” He pointed out that a multi-party legislative commission recommended in December that the decrees be repealed.

The congressional constitution committee also said the “forestry and wildlife law”, which according to critics endangers the rainforest that is home to the indigenous groups, is unconstitutional.

On Thursday Jun. 4, the ombudsperson’s office filed a lawsuit against the law, alleging that it is unconstitutional and that it undermines indigenous peoples’ rights to cultural identity, collective ownership of their land, and prior consultation.

Under the Peruvian constitution and International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169, indigenous groups must be previously consulted with respect to any investment projects in their territory.

The “forestry and wildlife law”, whose stated aim is to “create the necessary conditions for private sector investment in agriculture,” violates the property rights of indigenous communities, according to the ombudsperson’s office.

But the president of Congress, Javier Velásquez Quesquén, said the legislators will not give in to “blackmail” by indigenous people.

Sociologist Nelson Manrique at the Pontificia Universidad Católica, a private university in Lima, said “the indigenous protesters are being accused of asking for too much because they are demanding compliance with the constitution, when it is the government that is breaking the law by refusing to revoke the decrees.”

The analyst told IPS that the arguments set forth by the authorities are like those of the ruling elites, who “use two stereotypes in their depictions of indigenous people: the manipulated savage who cannot argue anything in legal terms because he is incapable of thinking, or the bloody, irrational savage who is a threat to the country.

“With this discourse, the government feeds into old racist prejudices that have deep roots in Peruvian society: that of the uncivilised, inferior native. And democracy is impossible with a view like this,” said Manrique.

He said the controversial decrees form part of García’s free trade political agenda based on promoting foreign investment.

Manrique supports the indigenous groups’ demand for an independent commission to investigate what happened in Bagua, saying it was hard to believe that police armed with AKM assault rifles simply fell prey to indigenous people armed with bows and arrows and homemade weapons.

Wilfredo Ardito, lawyer for the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos human rights association, told IPS that international bodies should intervene, because “there is a climate of total distrust and fear that evidence of the massacre will be hidden.”

Ardito said that since García took office in July 2006, there have been 84 reports of deaths of protesters or extrajudicial killings by the security forces. “This is a regime that undermines human rights and that is doing nothing to redress its errors,” said the legal expert.


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post Jun 16 2009, 03:52 AM
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Urban Guerrilla

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Holy Fucken Shit!
Genocide alive and well I see!.

There once was a man who fourteen years ago was caught up to the highest heaven!.
Whether in the body or out of the body I don't know, only God knows.
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Fremen Bryan
post Jun 16 2009, 12:59 PM
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"The Sleeper must awaken"

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The Middle of the Fire: Field Report from Peru

Posted: 15 Jun 2009 09:56 AM PDT

The following is a field report from Independant Peruvian Journalist, Juan Tincopa. He has worked for several years with Indigenous Peoples on land and resource issues.

June 14th, 2009

It is true that the families of the indigenous people that the government had killed took policeman as hostages, because they were scared and wanted to protect their own lives. The truth is that the government is totally responsible for the violence and that the Indian people had nothing to do with the other circumstances that happened, because the government started to shoot to kill Indians. THE REAL PROBLEM BEGAN WHEN THE government GAVE THE ORDER TO SHOOT AT PEOPLE'S BODIES. The police said that they are there to respect the order and law. Which law gives them the right to shoot people to kill?

Some policeman were shot, because some indigenous people had some military experience from their service as soldiers. They fought and took the police guns and used them for their defense. They were not terrorists. No Indian was armed. No Indian was prepared for violence. Everything became violent because the government planned this massacre and made the people desperate to survive.

What can you do? What can anybody do? When you are in the middle of shots fired and you don't have chance to survive it without a fight?

This incident was planned by the government because they are extremely criminal and they don't like that indigenous people have a reason and real rights by the law. That is the way that the government is looking for violence to justify the massacre and to crush the indigenous people before they take their lands.

You need to get information to the leaders of the Indian movement now. Nobody knows until now how many Aguarunas, indigenous people, were Killed by the police. I can only guess that it is probably between 50 to 200. The problem is that the police burned these bodies, put them in plastic bags, and dropped them into the rivers or into the jungle, and others were probably buried somewhere. Until now we don't have any possibility to know how many were killed. It is impossible, but there were a lot. The indigenous people some times in many places don't have IDs because they don't need it for life in the jungle. Many of them doesn't speak Spanish as well. Many of them are missing right now.

On the 7th, 8th and 9th of July, all labor and social organizations in Peru are going to strike. This is probably a big help to stop the government. I hope so. We need to pray and help for the peace. The government must understand that they can't do the criminal actions again and again.

Every human in the world needs to help the indigenous people in Peru because they are performing right and lawful actions in defense of their home, and also in defense of the Amazon, that is the defense of the life and of the heart, the life and future for everybody.

I'm sorry, my English is not accurate and good, buy it is only my perspective.

You need to get information from Indian movement leaders; AIDESEP and CAOI. I know they don't have powerful media ways to speak their truth, but we have to try to help. Every day that is coming we need to get together for this help. Next 25 of June we send to you the QAWAQ # 7 where we have some opinion about this conflict of our brothers.

We don't think we can change the official media. They are liars and they are lying every day, but we can start to tell the truth. We don't need to dispute small stupid things like if the Indians responded or not to violence. How you can imagine that it is impossible? That is the point, the government was looking for this reaction in order to have a pretext for the repression and to take away the rights of indigenous people.

The Indian case is their home, their peace and the peace for everybody. They keep their words after this massacre, and the government doesn't stop and keeps trying to involve violence in this conflict.

We are peaceful people. But don't tell me that everybody can stay quiet when the government starts to kill them. We are not looking for violence. We are not stupid, but, how can you control the situation in the middle of a fire? We need to tell the government: Stop to fire, stop to persecution, stop to massacres, stop taking away the homes of the Indians.

I hope you and you family are fine.

Juan Tincopa

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Fremen Bryan
post Jun 30 2009, 12:56 PM
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Action Update: Peru Indigenous Rights
June 28, 2009

We still have to massively support the Peruvian Indians.
~Russell Means

The following message is from Amazonwatch.org

June 27th, 2009

After 70 days of indigenous protests, culminating in the deadly events of June 5th and 6th, the tensions appear to be subsiding as the government concedes to indigenous demands. Crucially, last week the Peruvian Congress repealed Decrees 1090 and 1064, two of the nine “free trade” decrees opposed by indigenous peoples.

President Alan Garcia has also reversed his racist discourse against Amazonian indigenous peoples, admitting “errors and exaggerations.” Garcia’s already dismal public approval rating has recently slid from 30 to 21 percent. More than 90 percent of those surveyed said Garcia should have consulted indigenous peoples before instituting decrees that affect their rights, with more than 85 percent disapproved of his handling of the conflict. Just today, the Government lifted the State of Emergency that had been in effect since May 9.

While these milestones are significant, there is still a long road ahead. AIDESEP (the Inter-Ethnic Association for Development in the Peruvian Rain Forest) continues to demand that the government drop all outstanding legal charges against their leaders and representatives.

In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to call for an independent investigation into the violence in both Bagua and Station 6; for the repeal or significant reform of the remaining 7 controversial decrees, and for a guarantee that the government not try to put in play similar executive decrees or legislative initiatives.

In this continuing struggle for justice and indigenous self-determination in the Peruvian Amazon, your acts of solidarity are of utmost importance.

Below are the listing of Legislative Decrees opposed by AIDESEP, including the repealed 1090 & 1064, and the corresponding concerns of AIDESEP. Taken cumulatively, the decrees represent an assault on the rights of indigenous small landholders, as well as individual and communal rights.

Controversial Legislative Decrees:

Concerns of AIDESEP

994: Promotes private investment to expand the agricultural frontier

Risk that it increases the sale of community lands to private businesses

995: Re-launches the Agricultural Bank

Authorizing a larger portion of private investors, it shifts from being a bank for small farmers

1020: Consolidation of rural property for agrarian credit

Favors large land owners vs. interests of small land owners

1060: Regulates the National System of Agrarian Innovation

Stimulating biotechnology, it favors the importation of transgenic foods into the agricultural market

1064: Approves the judicial regime for use of agrarian lands

Eliminates previous consultation procedure with indigenous communities, which threatens their rights

1081: Creation of National System of Hydrological Resources

Allows for privatization of water resources

1083: Promotion of efficient use of water resources and the need for efficiency certificates

Favors farmers who use technological watering techniques

1089: Establishes extraordinary temporary regime for formalization and titling of rural lands

Threatens community rights because it promotes the sale of lands to third-parties for extraction of oil and mining resources, amongst other activities

1090: Establishes a National Plan of Forest Development

Sells the forest to private companies for commercial exploitation

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Fremen Bryan
post Jul 14 2009, 12:35 PM
Post #6

"The Sleeper must awaken"

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Weekend Update #21: Gracias Para Peru
July 13, 2009

Russell Means offers thanks and encouragement on the continuing struggle in Peru. Much has been accomplished thanks to you, and much more needs be done.



In June, the 400,000 indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon won a significant victory: after ten weeks of protests, strikes and bloodshed, they persuaded Peru’s President and Congress to repeal laws that ignored their rights and threatened the Amazon rainforest.

The struggle cost scores of lives (the exact number is yet to be established). The non-violent indigenous protesters gained broad support both nationally and internationally as military attacks on the protesters became more brutal and deadly.

“We felt that the laws annulled our existence. That’s why we rose up,” said Awajún leader Santiago Manuin, who was seriously wounded in the most deadly protest at Bagua.

Manuin continued: “Look at history, what’s happened to indigenous peoples, the deforestation, contaminated rivers…This is development? We don’t want this kind of development. Peru shouldn’t want this kind of development…But we are never consulted. They never tell us how they will assure that our children can continue to live in the forest, how they will protect the forest. We need a kind of development that starts from the forest and is for the forest; it will also be the best for Peru.”

What the protests gained:

- Two laws that would have opened the Amazon to unrestrained exploitation by logging, mining and oil companies were repealed by Congress.
- A process of negotiations was established.
- President Garcia will meet with Amazon indigenous leaders on July 20.
- The national Ombudsman introduced a bill that would require consultation with indigenous peoples, in compliance with ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- A Truth Commission will investigate the military attack on indigenous protesters at Bagua that cost at least 34 lives.

Why more international pressure is needed:

Labor, environmental and indigenous organizations continued strikes this week, pressing Congress to repeal the entire packet of 99 laws that were approved to facilitate a Free Trade Agreement with the US. President Garcia authorized a military response. The government issued arrest warrants on charges of sedition for indigenous leaders, forcing three leaders to seek political asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy.

Indigenous defenders of the Amazon rainforest are asking us to keep up the pressure on the President and Congress. Our letters should support indigenous peoples’ demands to:

- Cease the criminalization of protest
- Stop police and military actions against indigenous leaders and communities
- Align Peruvian laws with ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Guarantee indigenous peoples the right to free, prior and informed consent.

Please send letters to:

Excelentísimo Señor
Presidente Alan García
Despacho Presidencial
Jirón de la Unión S/N 1 cda
Lima 1

If possible, send copies of your letter to:

Rafael Vásquez Rodríguez, President of Congress
(rvasquezr@congreso.gob.pe, Fax +51 1- 311- 77- 03 )

Public Ombudsman Office of Peru

Peruvian Ambassador in your country (for contact details - see http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Peru

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Photo courtesy of Servindi.org

Originally from Global Response:


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