Several hundred indigenous protesters have recently been killed by the government of Alan Garcia, who is trying to suppress demonstrations against the very unpopular US-Peru FTA. It appears that the support of democratic principles and the rule of law by the USA, one of those hit-or-miss things, that is usually a miss.
Now he is a free-market champion who is opening vast tracts of jungle to oil and gas exploration by companies including France’s Perenco SA, Spain’s Repsol-YPF and U.S.-based ConocoPhillips.
Just what we need, government by and for the oil companies.
As covered at Truthout:
During the last week, deep in the Peruvian Amazon, confrontations between nonviolent indigenous protesters and police have left up to 100 people dead. The vast majority of the casualties are civilians, who have been conducting peaceful demonstrations in defense of the Amazon rain forest.
For almost two months, as many as 30,000 indigenous people have been blocking road and river traffic, demanding the repeal of presidential decrees issued last year to facilitate implementation of the US-Peru FTA. According to the indigenous leaders, several of these decrees directly threaten indigenous territories and rights. After having attempted several times to negotiate with the government the repeal of the most egregious of the decrees, and faced with a permanent influx of extraction equipment into the region, the people decided it was imperative to “put their bodies in front of the machines” in order to prevent this equipment from entering their territory.
On Friday, June 5, the government decided the protests needed to end and launched an aggressive assault against the people protesting on the road outside of Bagua. The dislocation was conducted from helicopters and the ground, with police and army using automatic weapons and heavy equipment against people armed with only rocks and spears. As videos, photos and testimonies from the region slowly emerge, it is clear that this was designed to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible, and deter those in other regions from continuing protests. Pictures circulating on the Internet depict snipers in uniform firing at protesters from the streets, tanks and from on top of buildings. On Saturday, in Lima, Peru’s capital, a large spontaneous demonstration in support of the Amazonian indigenous was broken up by police.
A blog with videos and extensive coverage of the protests in Peru: