June 11, 2009

"Sedition" and "savages" in Peru

If you haven't been following the situation in Peru, it's starting to enter the popular culture. President Garcia is invoking the classic stereotypes, celebrities are riding to the rescue, and the story is going viral via Facebook and Twitter.

Indian leader forced into exile as President calls protesters ‘savages’The Indians’ protests started two months ago in response to a series of government decrees promoting the opening up of their lands to oil and gas companies. In recent years more than 70% of Peru’s Amazon has been auctioned off to oil companies, with the Indians rarely being consulted.

Frustrated by the refusal of the authorities to negotiate with them, AIDESEP called for a series of peaceful protests. Indian communities throughout central and northern Peru have been blockading rivers and roads in a successful attempt to halt the oil industry traffic.
And:Pizango was charged with ‘sedition, conspiracy and rebellion’ following the violent confrontation between hundreds of indigenous protesters blockading a road near the town of Bagua in northern Peru, and riot police intent on breaking up the protest.

The violent tactics used by the police, firing automatic weapons at Indians who were peacefully protesting, resulted in many deaths on both sides.

At least 30 Indians are thought to have been killed, but indigenous organisations believe the real figure is significantly higher, and have accused the police of throwing large numbers of bodies into the MaraƱon river. More than 20 police officers are also believed to have died.

Peru’s President Alan Garcia has labelled the indigenous protesters ‘savages’, ‘barbaric’, ‘ignorant’ and ‘second-class citizens’.
Up to 250 Indigenous Peruvians Killed in Bagua, Says Leader Miguel Palacin

Q'orianka Kilcher arrives to Peru today to support Indigenous struggleConfirmed. American Indigenous actress and singer of Peruvian heritage Q'orianka Kilcher will arrive today to Peru. I chatted with Q'orianka Kilcher via email and she confirmed that she is coming to Peru show her solidarity with Indigenous peoples, especially to the relatives of the victims of the Bagua massacre and focusing on the affected children. Sadly, some Lima have media tried to misuse her.Peru Suspends Decrees That Fueled Amazon Violence

Worldwide protests in support of Amazon Indians

Comment:  The killing of Natives who resist the theft of their land continues.

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