The response from this blog to Obama protesting the massacre in Peru earlier this month was stunning. THANK YOU. Here is an update from our friends at the Quixote Center:
Thank you again for your strong response to our urgent action alert in response to the June 5th massacre of indigenous protestors in the Peruvian Amazon. Over 1200 of you sent letters and faxes asking the Obama Administration to denounce the violent repression of peaceful protests organized in response to the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
The groundswell of international solidarity in support of the struggle of Peru’s Amazonian indigenous was immediate. Protests organized in Peru and locations around the world helped to prevent further violence. The UN Special Rapporteur’s Office for Indigenous Rights and the International Federation of Human Rights both sent representatives to Peru and recommended the creation of an independent investigation Commission.
In the aftermath of the massacre, expanding protests forced the government of Peru to negotiate with Indigenous leaders. Two of the most egregious decrees issued under the U.S-Peru Implementation process were revoked and the Prime Minister of Peru agreed to resign. Once this agreement was reached, AIDESEP (Inter-ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon) lifted the barricades in the Amazon.
However, criminal charges are still pending against several Indigenous leaders and negotiations continue regarding the repeal of 9 more decrees and the violation of indigenous rights under the U.S.-Peru FTA.
In a strongly worded “Dear Colleague” letter, Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) urged members of the House of Representatives to “pay close attention to this matter and consider the consequence for indigenous peoples if and when another “Free Trade” agreement is considered by this House.”
Ben Powless, a Mohawk from Six Nations Ontario, Canada, was with AIDESEP leaders in Bagua just after the massacre. To read his powerful story click here:
The Obama Administration remains silent on the massacre in Peru.
Next Monday President Obama will receive Colombia’s President Uribe at the White House to discuss passage of the “free trade” agreement with Colombia. Protests are being organized in D.C. in response to the FTA and this endorsement of a regime responsible for massive human rights violations and acts of corruption.
We will continue to monitor the situation in Peru and will do all we can to make sure that your voices for change are heard here in Washington.
For the Quixote Center, Jenny