MADRE Statements

Peru's Congress Overturns Two Decrees that Led to Police Violence

Posted on: Friday, June 19, 2009

Keywords: Peru, Latin America, Indigenous Rights, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice

(Updated from original posting June 17, 2009) Six days after the Peruvian National Police attacked and killed Indigenous protestors, the Peruvian government issued a 90-day suspension of two of the ten decrees which had opened Indigenous lands to multi-national corporations and which protesters had been opposing since April. Mounting pressure from within Peru and around the world forced the Garcia Government to put a temporary hold on their policy of exploitation.

The protests continued. As Indigenous leader, Efrain Pizango Wasy said, “Our reaction is not to suspend the strike, but to continue until the end. As you have heard, this measure is suspended for only ninety days. This is not convenient for us, the indigenous population. We will gather more and continue fighting until the end.”

On Monday, June 15, Peruvian Prime Minister Yehude Simon apologized to the Indigenous community and announced that he would ask Congress to repeal the decrees intended to increase development in the Amazon. The following day, Simon announced his intention to resign in the upcoming weeks.

On Thursday, June 18, Peru's Congress overturned President Alan Garcia's two decrees. In a speech given the evening before, Garcia acknowledged that he had made a mistake by not including Indigenous groups in the discussions leading up to the decrees.

Watch the latest from the BBC.



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