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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Americas | San Francisco | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Action in Response to the Attacks on the Peruvian Amazon and Indigenous People
A coalition of groups met up today at the Peruvian Consulate in San Francisco to voice concerns over human rights and land abuses in Peru.
Rising Tide Bay Area (http://www.risingtideba.net), this week, called for a week of actions in solidarity with Peruvian indigenous communities. They where joined today by Earth First! Roadshow, Amazon Watch, and San Francisco community members inside, and outside, the Peruvian Consulate. Over 30 people converged outside the Peruvian Consulate in San Francisco to amplify their concerns with the Peruvian and US Government’s complacency in protecting indigenous rights. Outside folks held protest and spoke with passer-bys educating them on the current situation in Peru, while inside over 15 people went into the consulate to take their concerns directly to the Consul General of Peru. A local street theater group, People of Color Action Theater, also performed a piece depicting the struggles of the Peruvian people, government corruption and the devastating massacres. There obviously were no commitments made, but in an encouraging report back it was highlighted that the government in Peru is re-engaging in dialog with indigenous communities. It has get to be seen if they will truly act upon these communities demands and whether all communities will be heard. A background of the events is below.
At approximately 5am Friday morning, the Peruvian military police staged a violent raid on a group of indigenous people at a peaceful blockade on a road outside of Bagua, in a remote area of northern Peruvian Amazon. Several thousand Awajun and Wambis indigenous peoples were forcibly dispersed by tear gas and real bullets, among them are confirmed reports of over 150 injured and at least 40 confirmed dead, although the number of dead is likely to continue to grow. Tensions remain high in the area as reports of police attempting to suppress the body count and control hospitals in order to arrest the injured.
The peaceful protests, that have spanned nearly two months with no bloodshed until Fridays aggressive raid, are in response to President Garica’s continued disregard for Indigenous rights that catalyzed with the passage of the recent free trade decrees. Garcia is using these degrees to sign deals with foreign corporations to open the forest to oil, mining, and logging operations. Garcia continues to block open and democratic debate of the decrees as requested by Peru’s congress.
Latest is that the disputed decrees have been temporarily but revoked with the potential for a permanent revocation, pending discussion with indigenous communities.