Wellington Zapatista Support Group/Latin America Support Committee
For Immediate Release
09 June 2009
New Zealand Groups Condemn Peruvian Massacre of Indigenous Peoples
Click for big version
The Wellington Zapatista Support Group and the Latin American Support Committee express our deepest concern and anger at the violent repression on 5th and 6th June of indigenous peoples peacefully manning a blockade in Bagua, a remote area of the Northern Amazon region of Peru. The dawn raid against several thousand sleeping Awajun and Wambis indigenous peoples, who were forcibly dispersed by tear gas and real bullets, resulted in up to 100 deaths.
We also deplore the package of unconstitutional legislative decrees of President Alan Garcia that preceded the massacre, designed to bring Peruvian law into line with the demands of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The decrees will open communal rainforest lands and resources to oil drilling, logging, mining, and large-scale farming without consultation with indigenous inhabitants, and not only violate Peru's constitution and international law, but also cause irreparable environmental degradation to the ‘lungs of the planet.’
We note that two of the decrees were thrown out by the Peruvian Congress last September, and that in recent weeks the constitutional committee of the Peruvian Congress ruled that decrees 994 and 1090 were unconstitutional. We note also that the Office of the Peruvian Ombudsman has filed a demand with the constitutional tribunal on the unconstitutionality of decree 1064. Further, the decrees are in violation of the International Labour Organization´s Convention 169 on indigenous peoples, which calls for the protection of communal lands and for previous consultation for any activity or sale of them, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We are aware that Roman Catholic bishops in the Peruvian Amazon have issued a statement endorsing the legitimacy of indigenous complaints.
* We demand an immediate end to the repression of Peru’s indigenous peoples;
* We demand the immediate repeal of the nine decrees imposed on the Peruvian people by President Garcia;
* We demand the immediate cancellation of the Arrest Order on sedition chargesissued in respect of AIDESEP president Alberto Pizango for allegedly inciting the violence, a thinly-veiled attempt to criminalise the leader of a peaceful and legitimate social movement;
* We demand the formation of a "Multi-sectoral Commission" to investigate the atrocities of 5 and 6 June 2009, with participation from all parties in Peru's congress, the Peruvian Ombudsman, and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Picket The Peruvian Embassy
40 Mercer St Wellington
FRIDAY 12th June 12-2pm