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About the current bloody internal affairs of my country

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Jun. 8th, 2009 | 01:43 pm
location: at work
mood: disappointeddisappointed
music: Dragon Ball Kai ED
posted by: pervert_bitch in peruvians

2 Belgian volunteers were witnesses of a bloody conflict in North Perú.

Two Belgian volunteers of CATAPA, a Belgian NGO that focuses on mining related problems in Latin America were present at the riots in the North of Peru. CATAPA distanciates itself from the violence and condemns the reaction of the Peruvian governement, but supports the legitimate claim of the indigenous people for their involvement in the development of the Amazon. Our volunteers Marijke Deleu and Thomas Quiryen are evacuated and brought to safety as we speak.

The enduring conflict in Bagua (North Peru) between the Peruvian government and indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon have led to violent confrontations on Friday. According to different sources, between 30 and 84 deaths are reported, and more than 100 were wounded when the security forces tried to stop a roadblock by using violent force. According to the police, the indigenous people fired at the policemen first. This is contended by the representatives of the different indigenous groups: they say that they were only armed with their traditional spears. Most sources affirm that shots were released from police helicopters. Thomas and Marijke also saw how the police took along corpses. "A way to decrease the official death count", says Marijke Deleu.

Marijke and Thomas are volunteers for CATAPA at the environmental organisation of the Church VIMA in Jaén, close to Bagua. They left for Bagua to report about the protests. Before realising it, they were cought in the middle of the violence. In the meantime, they are being evacuated and brought to safety. CATAPA however fears for further acts of revenge against farmer leaders. CATAPA calls the politicians to raise this issue on the international agenda. If the international community doesn't act soon, a further aggravation of this conflict is very likely.

Announced conflict
The stake of the conflict is the admittance of mutinational companies to the areas in Northern Peru, which is rich in oil, gas and mineras. For almost two months, more than 30 000 indigenous inhabitants of different provinces of the Amazon and the Highlands protest the way in which the state and companies want to invest in the exploitation of natural resources. Indigenous people and farmer communities want to take part in the decision making process about the development of the land.

During 57 days, indigenous people were on strike and blocked roads. The last two years a large number of ecological and social restrictions on extraction of resources were removed by a changing regulation, leading to a much less restrictive legislation. This eases direct foreign investments in Peru for developing mines and oil- and gas-exploitations and concessions.

On May 9, the Peruvian governement declared the state of emergency in seven provinces of the Amazon areas, which means that "the constitutionally provisions on freedom and security of persons and the immunity of accommodation are temporarily suspended, and that there is a ban on gathering". Officially to safeguard acces to roads and airports, and to prevent production losses due to the actions of the indigenous people. However, on Friday it appeared as an alibi for using violence.
Negotiations between the state and the representatives of the indigenous communities were ceased on may 15, whereafter the indigenous people announced that they would continue their actions. Ever since, the protest and the reactions of the governement became more grim.

Convention 169 forces the consultation of indigenous people
C169 Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, set up by the International Labour Organisation and ratified by Peru in 1994, obliges Peru to consult indigenous people in cases in which the State or a company plans to exploit the natural resources in the land that the indigenous people occupy. This however is not a common practice in the Amazon forest. The biodiversity and the lives of indigenous people are at stake. The Sate and the companies involved – including the French oilcompany Perenco and the Spanish company REPSOL – push for a quick exploitation. The Peruvian Amazon forest are wanted for its potential profits, in a worldwide context of a growing shortage of natural resources.

Critizising to the actions by the indigenous people, president García referred in a statement by the government to the contitution that “the State retains the ownership of sub-surface resources” and that “all Peruvian people have to profit the natural resources in the country”. The indigenous people do not claim the ultimate ownership of the Amazon forest, but ask for a voice in the decision making process in the development of the region. Alberto Pizango, leader of the umbrella indigenous people's organisation AIDESEP, explaines: “we do not fight development, but we ask for development from our perspective”.

And what do I think about it? I think what the jungle natives ask for is totally reasonable and within their rights. But I don't agree with how a handful of they are acting, specially since, while it does not say in the article, some policemen were kidnapped and supposedly tortured, killed and their remains defenestrated and paraded all over the place. This is the work of huge assholes and I hope they open up a new one for them. BUT these people are but a few of maladjusted assholes like I said, most natives were just defending themselves. Also, I don't totally blame the police since it was they were following orders mostly and we don't pay them to think but to act... ok, bad joke aside, while I do think all of us have lost something in this bloody affairs (first being the loss of what little respect we had for the current president... at least in my case) I think policemen are big loser here. As in... man, you get like $300 p/month and for what? To risk you life and attack your fellow Peruvian for a bunch of assholes who care nothing about you or your native brothers, but for how much money they are going to squeeze out of the jungle after those "poor ignorant manipulated" natives who of course "cannot possible have got to that conclusion of protecting their lands by themselves" get "their head oout of their asses" and "do what they tell them to do". As you can see, I DO totally blame the central government, including the congressmen, the ministers and the goddamn president for being asstards and totally ignoring their protests and walking all over they petitions to achieve this like civilized people.

BTW, why have I taken the words of a Belgian NGO? Because most of our own media are biased and I got this one just when I had found a couple of ones who weren't and was about to translate 'em to English. So, thanks to my friend Carolina for sending this. Yes, I care but I am also lazy.

Finally, here are some photos. Some of them are graphic enough, so if you are a sissy for blood and gun wounds please please please don't watch. In other words NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!!!

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Comments {2}


A New President Please

from: monoypollo
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)

This is some sad news indeed, The president really needs to start helping the north more. It can be overwhelming in what needs to be fixed in Peru but you would think he would have learned from his first term in office.

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Ebil Oberlady in the making

Re: A New President Please

from: pervert_bitch
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)

The president learned nothing and what bothers me more is that apparently people learned nothing too from his first term since they reelected him in the first place. Sadly, those elections were like choosing between Scylla and Charybdis.

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