Tuesday, June 09, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Alert: Massacre by Peru Police


ALERT: Massacre in Peru Police shooting Amazon Indigenous civilians - 84 people dead

PLEASE TAKE ACTION! Send a letter to President Garcia and the government of Peru.

Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 833-9860; Fax: (202) 659-8124; E-mail:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru is on the Web.
The Peruvian Foreign Ministry has a
list of Peruvian foreign missions worldwide.
Also e-mail the President of the Congress of Peru Javier Velásquez-Quesquén at jvelasquezq@congreso.gob.pe.

Check out the video here
http://latinamericansolidaritynetwork.org/, some part of the massive indigenous demostrations in Peru from yesterday.

The government of Peru has ordered for the National Police to attack the Amazonian Indigenous peoples. Civilians were shot from buildings roofs and helicopters.

More than 38 people have died so far at 2:00 PM U.S. Eastern time, including 28 civilians and 10 police men -who are also Indigenous. Hospitals collapsing, fights ongoing. Update: now 84 dead people at 6:00 PM US Eastern time.

Indigenous peoples in Peru are in strike for the last 52 days protesting against free trade policies that would allow multinationals to take over their territories. This attack occurred around 5:00 AM this morning, a day after the Congress of Peru decided not to debate one of the most important decrees that allow the sale of Indigenous land. The number of casualities is according to a Twetter sent by a Peruvian journalist who is in the area of Bagua, a city located in the Amazonas region of Peru.

At this moment the police is attacking Indians and also the rest of the population in the cities of Bagua Grande and Bagua Chica, in the departmento (region) of Amazonas. There are lots of killings, but the radio only talks about the policemen that have died.

The central argument is this one: how can the government be right in this situation, if the WHOLE POPULATION (indians and not indians) are against the police (and soon the armed forces which is being deployed.

At this moment, though people I know inform directly from the zone, information is confused. I will let you know about what is happening and with clear information soon. Please be in alert.

Servindi Indigenous News in Peru reports that the attacks started at 5:30 AM. and among the dead is a local Indigenous leader who organized the protest. Santiago Manuig Valera is an Awajun-Wampis man and his remains are not yet recovered, as the Police are preventing civilians from doing so.

The director of Policía Nacional del Perú (PNP), José Sánchez said the attacks were a response of violence started by the Indigenous protesters.

Peru's president Alan Garcia is on national TV right now and has accused the Indigenous leaders of the violence "They want to play a revolution game," and later on he added that "brave Police forces have fallen in defense of the nation," and said he might send the military this is just beginning. Peru minister Mauricio Mulder calls indigenous protesters "terrorists". Primer Minister Jose Garcia Belaunde has denied that there were not previous consultations with Indigenous peoples, which is a lie.

Amazonian Indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, of AIDESEP said the government has committed genocide and that they will continue their fight and will rally in cities of Peru.

Peru's police keeps attacking Natives and president Alan Garcia is saying that Venezuela is behind Indigenous protest.

Opposition leftist leader Ollanta Humala has protested and said Alan Garcia is responsible for the violence.

LIMA MEDIA is mostly biased saying "4 brave police men were killed by criminal Natives". El Comercio the biggest newspaper in Peru accuses indigenous peoples of violence "More than 7 police killed responding to Natives attacks"... Blogs in Lima are just awakening to reality of Peru, and some are even blaming the Native peoples. Very few posts on this issue at this time, unfortunately.

Civilians in Bagua are reporting that "this is a genocidal attack, there is violence everywhere" as the violence continues right now. Enlace Nacional has also news.

Demand an immediate end of violence!.

Sample Spanish letter to President Garcia:

Presidente Alan García
Despacho Presidencial
Jirón de la Unión S/N 1 cda
Lima 1, PERU

El mundo se preocupa por lo que ocurre en Perú y en nombre de los derechos humanos de los pueblos indigenas amazónicos peruanos, les solicito que detengan la violencia contra inocentes ciudadanos que están defendiendo sus territorios y sus vidas.

Por favor respete la vida de los peruanos, esto es un crimen de lesa humanidad que ustedes están promoviendo y en nombre de los tratados de derecho internacional que Perú ha firmado, le exijo que respete la vida de los indigenas amazónicos y suspenda el Estado de Emergencia.

Solicito respetuosamente que ordene el fin de los ataques policiales y que restituya el diálogo respetuoso y honesto con los pueblos indigenas amazónicos de Perú.

Por la vida, por la paz, por la justicia.

Please send copies of your letter to:

a.. Yehude Simon Munaro, President of the Council of Ministers
b.. (ysimon@pcm.gob.pe, Fax +51 1- 716- 87-35 )
c.. Rafael Vásquez Rodríguez, President of Congress
d.. (rvasquezr@congreso.gob.pe, Fax +51 1- 311- 77- 03 )
e.. Public Ombudsman Office of Peru
f.. (centrodeatencionvirtual@defensoria.gob.pe)
g.. Peruvian Embassador in your country (for contact details - see http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Peru
h.. UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
i.. (indigenous@ohchr.org)
j.. UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
k.. (wgeid@ohchr.org)
l.. UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom expression
m.. (freedex@ohchr.org)
n.. United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
o.. (indigenous_un@un.org)
p.. IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
q.. (cidhoea@oas.org)
r.. IACHR Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Expression
s.. (

Protests to continue in Peru

a.. CAOI the Andean Indigenous Organization has made a call for an international trial to Alan Garcia and his cabinet for genocide.

a.. Protests in Lima today: Movilizacion en Lima en protesta por matanzas de indigenas HOY a las 5 PM Plaza Francia hasta Plaza San Martin.

a.. Indigenous leaders call for National Protest on June 11.

Up to 100 dead in Amazon clashes: activist

By News Online's Amy Simmons

Updated Mon Jun 8, 2009 4:59pm AEST

Many Peruvians - not just Indigenous - are upset by plans to open land in Peru's Amazon region to oil, gas and mineral exploration (User submitted: Ben Powless)

Up to 100 Amazon natives have been killed after Friday's military crackdown on protesters in Peru and the situation is expected to worsen, says a Canadian Indigenous rights activist.

Twenty-two-year-old Ben Powless is working alongside Peru's national organisation of Amazon Indigenous people, AIDESEP, and fears more lives will be lost, with the government now labelling protesters as "terrorists".

Many Peruvians - not just Indigenous - are upset by plans to open land in Peru's Amazon region to oil, gas and mineral exploration, even though much of the land is officially protected.

The Government has recently signed a number of free trade agreements with the United States and Canada, seeking to change domestic laws and encourage foreign investment in the Amazon.

The Government has declared a state of emergency in some Amazon regions, suspending constitutional rights in the areas.

Mr Powless says Government reports are portraying the situation incorrectly.

"What we've been hearing from some of the communities is that a lot of the death tolls and the number of people hurt or injured are dramatically different from the Government figures, which put it as low as three to nine Indigenous people who have been killed," he said.

"But we have heard from some representatives on the ground that there may be as many as 100 people murdered.

"There was an active attempt by the Government here to portray it as a massacre of policemen who went into an area and were killed on their job, when in reality, native participants were sitting in blockades early in the morning [on Friday] when the police attacked."

Mr Powless says the Government is controlling information on the unfolding events.

"There is a lack of information about what's going on," he said.

"A lot of reports aren't making it out of the communities, the Government has a near monopoly on being able to get their own message out about the situation and convene press conferences, and I have not been able to go into the Amazon region yet as the military has taken control and restricted access."

He says a group of Indigenous leaders in Lima, Peru's capital, are planning to go to the Amazon region on Tuesday - and Mr Powless intends to accompany them.

National strike

He says Friday and Saturday's deadly conflicts appear to have settled down, but more unrest is expected on Thursday when a national strike, called for by Indigenous organisations and unions, will be carried out.

"Today what we've been told is that some Indigenous groups have taken over one of the oil refineries as well as one of the airports in one of the regions," he said.

"The military is basically walking around armed, patrolling, just trying to keep people out of the streets.

"The situation seems pretty calm but if the strike is anything like in the past, it's been able to successfully shut down roads, restrict all access to Machu Picchu by train - which is the major cultural and tourist destination here - shut down airports, oil refineries and other major areas of transportation."

Mr Powless says strikers will call for the dismissal of Peruvian President Alan Garcia over his response to the crisis and urge him to take responsibility for the deaths that have occurred as a result of the heavy-handed military action.

Human rights abuses

In the long-term, he says the issue is one of Indigenous rights and liberties.

"The Indigenous groups here, especially in the Amazon region, are fearing for control of their livelihoods and really fighting for control of the land they have lived on, and that they have lived on forever," he said.

"Any development anywhere usually has to take into consideration the people who live there and who would be impacted - this is something that has been established by the United Nations and the recent UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

Ultimately, Mr Powless says achieving this would mean a renegotiation of the laws, which have been pushed through the Government without any oversight from the Indigenous people.

Indigenous 'terrorists'

However, Mr Powless says he is not optimistic, particularly due to Government attempts to paint Indigenous protesters as terrorists.

"In the context of a country that has been fighting an insurgent group for over 20 years now and they have a long history of dealing with what they consider terrorism in a very violent, militarised means, for them to start coming out and calling the Indigenous groups here terrorists seems to suggest that they're preparing to respond to them with more military means," he said.

"Without serious pressure coming nationally and internationally, letting the government know that they can't commit human rights abuses anymore, and without people saying that there needs to be negotiation and that they can't just go in with the military and stop people's legitimate protests, then I'm not really convinced that the Government is going to step down."

Mr Powless says this is the biggest incident the Peruvian Amazon has seen in the modern era.

Protest against the murder of Native resisters in Peru:
Peru Consulate
3717 NE, 157th Street - Suite 100
Seattle, Washington 98155

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