Peru: Police open fire on indigenous peoples’ protests to protect lands from oil exploitation

A few weeks ago we reported on the national strike that has been taking place in Peru for nearly a month now, and saw an outpouring of comments from concerned supporters.  Today, the situation grew much worse – indigenous communities in a remote area in northern Peru awoke to gunfire from helicopters and a military crackdown that has left an estimated 49 dead, and at least the same number of wounded.  Indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon have been protesting an executive order made by the Peruvian President Alan Garcia that would open their lands to oil exploitation, mining, and large-scale agriculture.  For nearly 50 days, they have been peacefully protesting, only to see a violent and repressive response from the Peruvian police.

Here in San Francisco, our friends the International Forum on Globalization and Amazon Watch acted fast to pull together a meeting with the Peruvian Consulate, and a rally outside (see photo). 

Please take a moment to send a letter to the Peruvian President to show that the international community is watching the situation, and demands an end to the violence, and respect for indigenous peoples': http://www.amazonwatch.org/peru-action-alert.php

And please stay tuned for more info about how you can stand in solidarity from afar to protect indigenous rights, and the ecological future of the Peruvian Amazon.  Here are a few sources to get up to date on the situation:

http://www.amazonwatch.org/peru-protests.php

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/05/amazon-tribes-police-protest-deaths

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ben-powless/2009/06/50-days-protest-and-one-massacre-peruvian-amazon (good photos and links to more coverage)

http://www.vicariatodejaen.org/paroindigena.htm (Spanish)

 

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