“This government disregards the indigenous people.” was what they said a week before being shot at from helicopters
(This article first appeared on Indymedia Ireland)
Awajun, Wampis (native tribes), mestizos (mix of native and spanish blood) and whites united in defense of the land, Struggling to repeal the Court Orders
An ongoing, many month old peaceful protest in the Bagua region of the north western area of Peru was brutally attacked this week by state forces, resulting in the deaths of, at least, 25 native Indigenous Amazonian Peruvians. A motorway in the “curve of the devil” region had been blocked by local communities of the area who feel their land, health, livelihood and community is threatened by the government’s giveaway of the area, and its precious resources, to multinational oil and gas exploration. They are perhaps right to feel sad, threatened and terrified, knowing how things have faired in neighbouring areas with a similar story, Sion, Equador and beyond… Perhaps even as far a field as Rossport.
World Environmental day (June 5th) mobilisation in Bagua, Peru – Violently repressed with massive amounts of loss of life
As word is spreading at this attrocious massacre, there is outrage. Governments can no longer carry on playing this game (remember bloody sunday). We, in all parts of the world, are angry. We stand with our brothers and sisters of Peru. We stand with their spokesperson Miguel Palacin and his condemnation of the massacre, last week at the Continental Summit of Indigenous People: “This government disregards the indigenous people” – sadly now, we know how right he was. We are all hij@s de Pachamama (sons and daughters of mother earth) we say Basta – Enough; Enough destruction, misery, sadness and death. As is stated in America Latina: “Another World is not only possible, it’s absolutely necessary!”
Ironically, or perhaps with a sinister twist, the massacre happened on World Environmental day, and also days after the 20 year commemoration of the Tienanmen square massacre in China, which led to global outrage at what governments do to their people.
Some 7,000 indigenous activists gathered in Peru Friday for the Continental Summit of Indigenous People to show support for Amazon tribes who are protesting against the package of laws they say will threaten their native lands. Thousands of Amazon Indians have been on strike for more than a month over a series of presidential decrees that open up natural resource sectors like gas, lumber and oil to private investors.
Sound like Rossport? Just far more destructive, far more to win and lose, far deadlier!
The government of Peru is not the same as their neighbours to the South East, Bolivia, where struggles such as this one, supported by all those who had had enough, who had finally said “BASTA!”, who stood up, blocked roads, battled and won. In a region of our world which has seen massive change recently, after years and years of bloody brutal repression from within and without state borders, (normally at the bequest of those very same oil and gas companies that are, PERHAPS, behind the deals that provoked the native strikes and action, which have led to these deaths) – today change is coming to much of the continent, as Noam Chomsky recently said on Democracy Now:
Latin America, for the first time in 500 years, is moving towards a degree of independence and a kind of integration, which is a prerequisite for independence
Bolivia is, in my opinion at least, probably the most democratic country in the world. Nobody says that, but if you look at what happened in the last couple of years, there were huge, popular, mass organizations of the most repressed population in the hemisphere, the indigenous population, which for the first time ever has entered the political arena significantly and were able to elect a president from their own ranks and one who doesn’t give instructions to his army, but who’s following policies that were largely produced by the population. So he’s their representative, in a sense in which democracy is supposed to work.
And they know the issues. It’s not like our elections. They know the issues. They’re serious issues: control over resources, economic justice, cultural rights, and so on. You can say they’re right or wrong, but at least it’s functioning.
So Peru is not Bolivia, BUT, perhaps the Amazonian tribes and peoples feel HOPE-ful, having seen their Andean compañer@s, their native brothers and sisters battle and win, or at least begin the journey toward victory. If direct action, peacefully blocking highways to prevent destruction, uniting the peoples, spreading word of the struggle worked there in Bolivia, perhaps the same might happen in Peru. Who knows, as so much positive change is happening in the continent in these strange and exciting days.
Like many places in the rest of America Latina, Peru has seen its fair share of violence and murder. Only last month, the head of government some time back, Alberto Fujimori, received 25 years in prison for massacres- the first time a democratically elected Latin American president has been found guilty in his own country of such offences. It has been claimed that the present head of Government, Alan García, who had a deep close relationship with Fujimori and who gave the orders for yesterday’s blood letting, is not un-familiar with the use of assassination and murder of local peoples, like what happened in the Ayacucho region in the late 80´s resulting in deaths of thousands. Speaking on Democracy Now, Indigenous Activists spokesman Miguel Palacin, who helped organize the fourth Continental Summit of Indigenous People which happened in Peru last week, stated:
“The government of Peru is really going against the rights of native people. The indigenous territories are being handed over to mining companies, oil companies and loggers. And today, after a forty-nine-day protest by the indigenous people, there is still no answer. We have an unstable government. And from here, we will send a message to the world to say that this government disregards the indigenous people.”
Yesterday, sadly, he told reporters in Peru’s capital, Lima:
“I hold the government of President Alan Garcia responsible for ordering the genocide,” indigenous leader Alberto Pizango .
In a recent award winning film by Australian long time journalist John Pilger, The War on Democracy, he outlined very graphically the bloody story that has happened in Latin America, much of the causes of the conflicts, how brutally people were attacked, arrested, tortured, murdered… Some horrific stories, which, although Pilger did not mention in the film, also happened with similar brutality in Peru. Thankfully, much of the continent is awakening and massive change is underway, but still there are areas where the old ways have not changed; as we saw in Peru yesterday. But, as words spread, and as anger grows, we have HOPE. We can take a stand with our brothers and sisters in this, their difficult time, learn from them, listen to their fears and do what we can, wherever we are, whatever we are, to assist them. How we do that, I’m not too sure, but it’s heartening to see that people are finally waking up to the full impact of destruction that has been, and still is being, caused at the closing days of one of the most destructive epochs in our collective story on this little planet of limited resources: The Oil Age.
The War on Democracy, by journalist John Pilger
HOME, Pachamama, 3rd rock from the sun…
As stated, the day the Peruvian government choose to attack was World Environmental Day, so while some of us were here in Barcelona´s CCCB watching the beautiful, sad and at times depressing, then uplifting film about our HOME, people in Peru were moving their dead comrades out of harm’s way after being fired upon at 5am in the morning (Peru time)
The film Home – while people were watching its stereo world premiere, indigenous were being shot in Peru
Globally speaking, things have got so bad, in terms of the cancerous, sick and corrupt political systems, irreversible destruction to earth’s bio diversity, massive inequality and poverty for most people of the planet, that something profoundly strange is happening, the likes of which we have never experienced before: A movement, seemingly from nowhere, has somehow, somewhere been born and is growing; a movement of movements. US ecologist Paul Hawken has aptly called it the Blessed Unrest, and likens it to the immune system of humanity finally kicking in. Social Justice, Environmental protection and Indigenous are the 3 strands that comprise this morphing organism… To add to that, new communication tools are being created and morphing to permit quick passage of critical informations to this ever widening community, to increase our collective resilience and to take appropriate action to put a stop to the planet’s cancer and start to reverse the damage. Hopefully the deaths in Peru will further assist in this global connectivity and action. (indymedia, WISER earth and various NING sites all assist in this strange platform)
As we face the realities of THE OIL AGE and peak oil time that we are either quick approaching or already experiencing, many of us are beginning the TRANSITION away from oil dependence to local resilience. This is the time of “Thinking Global, acting local”, but also of “Thinking Global, acting global, as well as continually thinking local, acting local, at the same time.”
Map showing the Great Peruvian Amonian Forest Sell Off
The Amazon has been reduced by 20% in the last 40 years. Garcias sell off will have drastic consequences
Garcia: “Its OK, They (Amazon indigenous) are not first class citizens.”
Solidarity actions in Holland today at Peruvian embassy at den Haag- funeral
— Massacre in Peru
Peru police use snipers to kill in Bagua
Amazon: International Tribunal to prosecute genocide of Alan García. ” We must stop the slaughter of Indigenous. Organizations from six countries accuse the president of Peru for slaughter and genocide. Bolivia believes that Garcia is a tool of imperialism to undermine the progress of peoples.
VIDEO – Official condemnation of the 25 deaths of PEACEFUL PROTESTORS,
CONDENAN MASACRE 25 MUERTOS INDIGENAS ABALEADOS PERU AMAZONAS BAGUA 5/JUN/09
Protesta indigena en Bagua
Enfrentamiento entre policías y nativos en Bagua deja trágico saldo
fotos – DIOGENES AMPAM WEJIN · Sets – paro amazonico 2009
Inca Kola News – Peru: indigenous vs gov’t and oil: The killing begins
¡Feliz día del medio ambien… Represión! (Happy Environmental day… Repression)
The people defend their lives…And the government responds with bullets
POLICÍAS LLEGARON A MATARNOS (The police are coming and killing us)
Various from IMC-BCN
Reuters – Peru clash with tribes, police kills at least nine
Peru mainstream media
— Related Infos
Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now! – the Global Economic Crisis, Health Care, U.S. Foreign Policy and Resistance to American Empire
WSM article: What’s happening in Bolivia?
The War On Democracy A film by John Pilger (09/10/2007 )
4 Continental Summit of Indigenous Nations
Peru’s Fujimori gets 25 years prison for massacres
7,000 Indigenous Activists Gather in Peru
Rossport struggle in Ireland
Blessed Unrest – How the largest movement came into being and how no one saw it coming
WISER earth – Connecting YOU to Communities of Action