Thursday, June 11, 2009

'Tragedy in Peru'

A friend forwards this note:
Most of you will have heard of the recent massacre of indigenous protesters by Peruvian special forces and about the violence and the persecution of indigenous leaders that has followed. Given the fact that the information available is sketchy, at best, you may want to watch this short and informative video report. One of the persons interviewed is a colleague with a long-term involvement in these issues, (his past work with shinai on land rights and oil companies was funded by the darrell posey foundation), the other is the president of the national indigenous federation, who the government has just charged with sedition.

Amazon watch is doing a key job by providing information from the ground- this is particularly important given the extent to which national media in Peru are controlled by the government and/or associated corporate interests. If you want more information or want to support that work, please visit Amazon Watch.
See, too Avaaz. Democracy now reports:
Over the weekend, Garcia, a free trade advocate, said 40,000 natives did not have the right to tell 28 million Peruvians not to come to their lands. Anyone who did so, he warned, would lead Peru into, quote, “irrationality and a backwards primitive state.”

Since April, indigenous groups have opposed new laws that would allow an unprecedented wave of logging, oil drilling, mining and agriculture in the Amazon rainforest by blocking roads, waterways and oil pipelines. President Garcia’s government passed these laws under “fast track” authority he had received from the Peruvian congress to facilitate implementation of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement.

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