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Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
06-06-2009, 03:02 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
At least 31 people have died in clashes in Peru between the security forces and indigenous people in the Amazon region.

Those killed included at least 22 tribesmen and nine policemen. The violence took place as security forces tried to end a road blockade.

There have been fuel and transport blockades in Peru's Amazon region for almost two months.

Local people say new laws will make it easier for foreign companies to exploit their land for natural resources.

The fighting took place at a jungle highway near the town of Bagua, more than 1,000km (600 miles) north of the capital, Lima.

They are the most serious to have broken out since indigenous groups began a protest campaign in April.

They are opposed to plans by the government of President Alan Garcia to open up communal jungle lands for oil exploration, logging, mining and large-scale farming.

Indigenous leaders say police using helicopters opened fire on demonstrators in the latest incident.

One indigenous leader, Alberto Pizango, told reporters that he held the government responsible for the killings, which he said had taken place during a peaceful demonstration.

The authorities say the police were fired on first, and Mr Garcia accused the Indians of "falling to a criminal level."

Earlier this month, Peru's military was authorised to give support to police in the escalating dispute.

President Garcia has said all Peruvians should benefit from the country's natural resources not just the people who happened to live in the areas concerned.

Under Peru's constitution the state owns the country's mineral and hydrocarbon wealth.

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Vitam Impendere Vero
06-06-2009, 03:23 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
Now that is sad. Corporations seem to pretty much do whatever they wish to, along with the IMF & World Bank.
06-06-2009, 09:46 PM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
a more complete version of the story. although unfortunately it's still from the BBC:

[Image: _45878211_007449048-1.jpg]
Peruvian police carry away the body of a comrade killed near Bagua on 5 June
The violence near Bagua has left at least 18 policemen dead

Nine Peruvian policemen seized by Amazonian indigenous protesters have been killed during a rescue bid which freed 22 others, officials say.

A further seven were still missing after the military moved to free them from protesters angry at plans to drill for oil and gas on ancestral land.

The hostages were taken on Friday during clashes near Bagua which left at least 22 tribesmen and 11 police dead.

A police official accused the protesters of killing the hostages.

Police chief Miguel Hidalgo said that the 38 officers had been captured at a petrol facility they were defending in the area about 1,400 km (870 miles) north of Lima, the capital.

"Of the 38, 22 have been rescued by the army, nine have died at the hands of the natives and seven have disappeared," he told Peruvian radio station RPP.

Speaking before the rescue operation, Peruvian Prime Minister Yehude Simon accused the protesters of a "plot against democracy".

He said the 38 policemen had been held hostage by about 1,000 protesters but the army had had them surrounded.

Friday's violence erupted as police tried to dislodge protesters from a major road which they had been blocking.

Two months of protests

One indigenous leader, Luis Huansi, told Reuters news agency on Saturday that about 8,500 protesters had taken up strategic positions around the city of Yurimaguas.

He said the protesters would not be using guns: "We are counting on our traditional weapons which our forefathers left to us for defence, weapons to fight. They are spears."

Fuel and transport blockades have disrupted Peru's Amazon region for almost two months, the BBC's Dan Collyns reports from Lima.

Special forces had moved in before dawn on Friday to remove the protesters who were sleeping by the side of the road they had been blockading.

Protesters say the police fired tear gas and live ammunition from helicopters in what was by far the most violent clash in the protests so far.

Alberto Pizango, another indigenous leader, said the protests had been peaceful until the police raid.

"In the 21st Century they continue to kill us indigenous people simply for defending life, our sovereignty over our lands and our dignity," he said after Friday's violence.

But Peru's Foreign Minister, Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde, told the BBC there were armed men amongst the demonstrators.

He said the government had given the native people 12 million ha (29 million acres) out of the total Amazon territory of around 80 million ha.
Vitam Impendere Vero
06-07-2009, 02:47 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
Quote:Now that is sad. Corporations seem to pretty much do whatever they wish to, along with the IMF & World Bank.

Can we say the beast?
Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
06-07-2009, 03:24 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
Al Jazeera's report:

At least nine police officers, seized by indigenous protesters in Peru, have been killed as their colleagues attempted to rescue them, officials said.

Security forces launched the operation early on Saturday after the demonstrators took control of an oil-pumping station in the western Amazon and took 38 officers hostage.

"Of the 38 police officers who were taken hostage at the [petrol] facility, where they were providing security protection ... 22 have been rescued by the army, nine have died at the hands of the natives and seven have disappeared," Miguel Hidalgo, a police chief, told local radio.

It was not immediately clear if any of the about 3,000 protesters at the site had been killed or injured in the incident.

Officials say that at least 22 police officers and nine indigenous Peruvian protesters have been killed since security forces moved to break up a roadblock built in April as part of a demonstration against oil and gas exploration in the Amazon jungle.

Indigenous leaders have said that at least 25 protesters, including three children, have been killed.

Arrest ordered

Also on Saturday, a judge has ordered the arrest Alberto Pizango, the leader of the Peruvian Jungle Interethnic Development Association, on charges of sedition for allegedly inciting the violence in the western Amazon.

Pizango has accused the government of Alan Garcia, the president, of ordering "genocide" when attacked the roadblock, which had been manned by thousands of protesters, some armed with spears.

At the heart of the dispute are laws passed last year as Garcia sought to bring Peru's regulatory framework into compliance with a free-trade agreement with the US.

"This has to be seen as one more chapter in the national struggle against the free trade agreement," Mirko Lauer, a political commentator at Peru's La Republica newspaper, told Al Jazeera.

The indigenous people hope to force congress to repeal laws that encourage foreign mining and energy companies to invest billions of dollars in projects in the rainforest.

They say that Garcia's government did not consult them in good faith before signing contracts that could affect at least 30,000 Amazon Indians across six provinces.

The bloodshed, which prompted calls for Peru's interior minister to resign, has underscored divisions between wealthy elites in Lima and poor indigenous groups in the countryside.

It has also exposed the central government's lack of control over some regions of the country.

link -

i think 'Fourth World War' is a good perspective on this. torrent:

Vitam Impendere Vero
06-07-2009, 04:08 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
also, just found this:

Peru: The struggle of the Indigenous and Amazonian peoples

No struggle without solidarity!

The struggle of the Indigenous and Amazonian peoples

The rubber boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries came at the expense of the blood of 50,000 indigenous Amazonians. Today, the worthy descendents of the heroism of Juan Santos Atahualpa - the Amazonian people - are rising up against Imperialism and Capitalism and their plan to usurp not only these people's lands, but also their lives and their destinies.

The State is systematically contravening international treaties such as the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples' Convention (Convention No.169 of the International Labour Organisation), which provides for obligatory consultation in advance with indigenous peoples on any planned intervention on their lands, through the appropriate community bodies.

Last year, Amazonian people led a nine-month rebellion, seeking to force the Aprista (Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana) regime to repeal Executive Orders 1015 and 1073 (see

In the Peruvian rural regions of Loreto, San Martín, Amazonas, Ucayali, Cuzco and Madre de Dios the war drums are sounding again, calling the people to rebel in an indefinite popular general strike that has been spreading through the countryside and the Amazon regions since 9 April and that has, since 14 may, gone on to become a call to insurgency for the people in struggle.

Faced with this, the government has called a State of Emergency which has already claimed one victim, our Awajun brother Manuel Dekntai, and several arrests.

Legalising the dispossession of the native peoples

Law No.20653, the General Law on Native Communities, which was passed by General Juan Velasco Alvarado's military regime in June 1974, recognised the "legal existence and juridical identity of the indigenous Amazonian people and their territories, declaring them to be inalienable, indefeasible and inviolable". This was confirmed in the 1979 Constitution. However, it was removed at the strike of a pen by the Fujimori Constitution of 1993, to open the way for dispossession and plundering by successive governments, opening the door to the Trade Promotion Agreement (NAFTA) and becoming law following the Executive Orders of the second Aprista government.

So, once again, the Peruvian State has shown itself to be an instrument of domination in the hands of the exploiting classes, who are seeking to continue to expropriate not only the political rights but also the resources of our indigenous (native) peoples who are now rising up in revolt against the oppressor.

As libertarian communists, we declare that the native communities' right to self-determination is the exercising of popular power, based on communitarian principles, the utilization and collective use of natural resources, and on those forms of work and collective benefit that they have traditionally preserved.

In defence of the land and "Pachamama" or "Nugkui"

For the native peoples, whether from the jungles or the Andean region, "the land is our embryo, the origin of the existence of our peoples with out own cultures and identity. If we have no land, we are an indigenous people without life and thus sentenced to extermination".

In the cities, ownership of the land can only be through "title deeds", but for the indigenous people, ownership of the land lies with "mother earth". For the Andeans, it is "Pachamama"; for the Shuar and the Awajun, it is "Nugkui", and so on according to the historical and cultural worldview in each region.

In other words, while each people gives it its own name, the concept of "property" as it is understood in Western society does not exist. Indeed, they consider themselves in some way to be the "children of the earth", which gives them sustenance. Hence, their relationship with the land acquires an almost "sacred" nature. Simply put, the land does not belong to men, it is man who belongs to the land.

In the indigenous Amazonian worldview, for example, "land" covers a "broad concept of integration as a collective benefit in interdependence with nature". "The mountains and waterfalls where our ancestors meditated are inherited as sacred places and they are respected as founts of visions and spiritual strength", as some say. In other words, their relationship with the land that hosts them also conditions their ideological conceptions and their culture.

The State seeks to destroy collectivist nuclei

It is important to denounce the efforts of the official press which is dedicated to misinforming, misrepresenting or hiding the just means that are being attacked in the Peruvian jungle, in collusion with the current neo-liberal government and its leaders - Alan García; the vice-president and retired admiral responsible for the prison massacres during the first Aprista government of the 1980s, Luis Giampietri; the prime minister, Yehude Simon, previously a left-wing leader who had even been imprisoned for his beliefs and who is now the faithful guardian of the Aprista reaction.

For these politicians who control the State under imperialist orders, the path lies through the dispossession of the communities. It is at the same time a plan to destroy their type of social organisation and the relationship that links them to their land, a relationship that in essence clashes with the Western understanding of property and is therefore a brake on the voracity of trans-national Capital which is trying to take root in these zones, usurping them in alliance with the State.

Already the 1993 Constitution of the State repealed the "inalienable, indefeasible and inviolable" nature of the indigenous lands.

This paved the way for the State to declare the lands of the native peoples "negotiable, in accordance with the market economy" by means of executive orders, thus bypassing the legislature.

We must not forget the fact that it was Fujimori's 1993 Constitution that left the door open for dispossession, as mentioned above. So it is clear that work has already begun to suffocate and isolate the communities, for the greed of the multinationals in gaining concessions for oil, gas, mining, tourism and logging in areas traditionally belonging to these peoples.

The Unión Socialista Libertaria believes that the struggle of the indigenous people, Amazonian and Andean, for the defence of their land, their way of organising themselves and their culture, is part of a minimum programme that involves the conquest of the demands of the peoples oppressed by the State, Capitalism and Imperialism.

This minimum platform should be based on the need for or the use of direct action in order to expel the trans-nationals from their lands. This is necessary in order to protect the integrity and sustainability of the region's habitat and ecosystem - which, it should be remembered, is one of the "lungs" of the planet - and in order that there can be sustainable development and planned usage of the flora and fauna, on the basis of criteria established by the communities. Furthermore, there needs to be active self-defence of their lands, which must be restored to their original condition.

True, active solidarity with the indigenous and Amazonian peoples' struggle will take the form of popular protest (agitation, propaganda, union-led strikes and popular strikes, direct action, etc.), to be incorporated into a general platform of struggle based on that of the native peoples.

Support the just protest of the Indigenous and Amazonian peoples

As libertarian communists who expect nothing from the State (other than its destruction), we sympathise with the struggle of the native peoples as an immediate part of a larger project for the liberation of all exploited people, and thus part of a wider strategy or maximum programme of social revolution.

For this reason, we should support demands which in the short term serve to improve living conditions and to enhance their social, political and economic organisation with the aim of facing up to the exploiter State and destroy it from within, building those kernels of popular power which will bring down the giant with the feet of clay that is Capitalism, mortally wounded at a global level by a global crisis from which it cannot recover if, as we want, it is the bourgeoisie that has to pay and not the poor.

Now all that is needed is to put capitalism out of its agony by giving it the coup de grace.

We thus support the struggle of the Amazonian people to seek satisfaction of the following immediate demands from the State:

* Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of the native communities and their active political participation in the making of decisions. The final decision of whether or not to approve legal regulations or contracts for concessions must be made by means of direct-democratic mechanisms (popular assemblies, referendums, etc.).

* The repeal of laws that damage or endanger the interests of Native and Rural Communities: repeal of Law No.29317, the Forestry & Wildlife law, which is the product of a forced and partial modification of Executive Order No.1090 (the "Jungle Law") and the related orders 1089, 1064 and 1020. In other words, the 99 Orders that were imposed on the people without any consultation.

* Benefits and facilities so that native communities or peoples can develop their productive, commercial and industrial activities.

* Similarly, benefits and facilities for the commencement and promotion of education and culture within the communities (by them and for them). More schools and qualified teachers to promote the education of native students.

* Greater benefit from oil and gas exploration and extraction to devolve to the native peoples, together with the building of hospitals, roads and all the necessary infrastructure, provided it is approved by the people themselves.

Capitalist property and community holdings

Why is capitalism not only seeking to appropriate the lands and natural resources of our native communities, but also to demolish their traditional organizational forms, based on communitarian and collectivist principles?

Private property serves to separate men, it is the origin of social classes.

But ownership and possession are two completely different things. Possession derives from the use of goods according to the needs of the person or the group, whereas property is concerned with the right of certain persons or groups to these goods at will, in any moment.

Quite rightly, the communitarian form of the possession, management and use of the means of production is more than a right, it is the product of the exercise of popular power that has been built up over the centuries by native peoples.

Popular power has nothing to do with institutions created in direct opposition or by some chance mechanistic deformation of the dialectic: it is a network of social relations in which the criteria of equality, solidarity and fraternity between the members of the exploited classes predominates, in a class war against the exploiters against whom they stand. It seeks their annihilation as a class of oppressors, not only through direct action but also through the construction of a new form of social organisation based on communitarian and federalist principles (free association).

Anarchism takes this concept of power and carries it out through instruments such as federations, assemblies and communities, with the active and continuous exercise of direct democracy as opposed to "bourgeois or representative democracy". We therefore believe that delegating power means centralising it and institutionalising it, in other words turning it into an end, not a service. Our answer to this is to build a popular, libertarian alternative in Peru (of a type discussed above) that ensures a truly multicultural, diverse and solid society.

Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of the native peoples!
Long live the struggle of the native communities!
Down with the Jungle Law and the privatization of water!
Down with the expropriating laws of the State!
Against NAFTA - submissive and anti-popular!
The jungle is not for sale, it is for protecting!
Trans-nationals out!
Create and build popular power!
Long live those who struggle!

Unión Socialista Libertaria

Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office

Related Link:

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Vitam Impendere Vero
06-07-2009, 04:27 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon

AP - Sat, 6 Jun 2009 19:30:58 -0400 (EDT)

Indians protesting oil and gas exploration on their lands battled police in Peru's remote Amazon Friday, with authorities and Indian leaders separately reporting nine police and 25 protester deaths.

The violence broke out before dawn as officers broke up a road blockade by some 5,000 Indians in an area called Curva del Diablo -- or "Devil's Curve" -- in the northern province of Utcubamba.

Protest leaders said police opened fire from helicopters with bullets and tear gas, while national police director Jose Sanchez Farfan said protesters attacked officers with firearms. He said they also set fire to government buildings.

Nine police officers were killed by gunfire and 45 wounded, said Farfan.

Indian leaders said 25 Indians were killed in the clash, accusing the government of "genocide" in attacking what they called a peaceful protest. Another 50 Indians were injured, 14 of them seriously, said Servando Puerta, one indigenous leader.

However, the central government's public ombudsman's office said it could only confirm the deaths of five Indians.

President Alan Garcia, who wants to ramp up foreign oil investment in the Amazon, accused the main Indian leader Alberto Pizango of "falling to a criminal level: to assault a police post, grab arms from police, kill police who are fulfilling their duty."

Pizango denied that Indians killed police, though a report by the environmental group Amazon Watch quoting a witness on the scene said Indians had disarmed police in self-defense.

Indians have been blocking roads, waterways and a state oil pipeline intermittently since April, demanding Peru's government repeal laws they say make it easier for foreign companies to exploit their lands.

The laws, decreed by Garcia as he implemented the Peru-U.S. free trade pact, illegally open communal jungle lands and water resources to oil drilling, logging, mining and large-scale farming, Indians say.

In addition to violating Peru's constitution, indigenous groups say Garcia is breaking international law by not obtaining their consent.

Garcia defends the laws as need to help Peru develop.

Peru's government owns all subsoil rights in the Andean country and Garcia has vigorously sought to exploit its mineral resources. A Duke University study published last year said contract blocks for oil and gas exploration cover approximately 72 percent of Peru's rain forest.

And though Peru's economic growth has led Latin America recently, Garcia's critics say little wealth has trickled down in a country where roughly half the population is indigenous and the poverty rate tops 40 percent.

Indians say Garcia's government does not consult them in good faith before signing such contracts which could affect at least 30,000 Amazon Indians across six provinces. Last month, Roman Catholic bishops in the Amazon issued a communique calling the Indians' complaints legitimate.

Pizango said last month that Indians would view any government security forces as an "external aggression" and would give their lives to defend the land.

Though he later rescinded what amounted to a declaration of insurgency, it is unclear how much influence Pizango, president of the Peruvian Jungle Inter-Ethnic Development Association, has over Indians in the conflict zone.

Garcia declared a state of emergency May 9 and suspended some constitutional rights in four jungle provinces as a result of the ongoing protests.

Because of the protests, the state oil company Petropru stopped pumping oil through its northern Peru pipeline from the jungle on April 26. Company spokesman Fernando Daffos said the interruption had cost it $448,000 in losses.

Also affected is the Argentine company Pluspetrol, which halted oil production in two jungle blocks in the Loreto region of northeastern Peru.


Associated Press writers Franklin Briceno in Lima and Frank Bajak in Bogota contributed to this report.

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Vitam Impendere Vero
06-07-2009, 04:39 AM,
Deadly clashes in Peru's Amazon
Yep, I'd say the beast. While it is sad at the same time there is a good note, people are tired of taking it. I hope the people there can kick their asses back to wherever they came from. Hopefully too people will stop investing in these corporations.

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