Peru: Indigenous Victory is a Victory for All
Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2009
This month saw an important victory by Indigenous Peoples in Peru. Thanks to their months-long protest, the Peruvian government repealed new laws that opened the Amazon rainforest to oil drilling. This was an important win for Indigenous rights—and for all of us. The Amazon region (known as “the lungs of the earth”) is crucial to climate stability for the entire planet.
Peru’s new laws were passed to facilitate the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement and protests against them were met with extreme police violence.
Because of President Obama’s strong support for the Free Trade Agreement, MADRE called on him to renegotiate the deal and commit to embedding strong human rights standards in all trade agreements. Many of you signed our petition, which we shared with CHIRAPAQ, our sister organization in Peru, and other friends in the international Indigenous movement.
For those in Peru who faced off against heavily-armed police, it meant the world to know that they had your support. That support helped fuel their courage and helped secure this victory. It’s an achievement we should celebrate, but not with any complacency. The oil companies will be back and we will need to continue to stand with those on the frontlines of protecting the Amazon rainforest.