Peru: 52 indigenous protestors acquitted of charges in Bagua case over oil drilling & mining in the Amazon
“Indigenous protestors acquitted over the Bagua Massacre in Peru”
52 protestors have been acquitted of charges relating to the Bagua Massacre, one of the bloodiest episodes in recent Peruvian history…The protestors, many of whom were indigenous, were accused of killing 12 policemen in June 2009. The massacre, which began as a peaceful demonstration, ended with at least twenty-three police officers, five Indians and five civilians dead, and more than 200 people injured. Unofficial reports suggest that the death toll was much higher….The protest began when several thousand Awajún and Wampis Indians blockaded a highway at the ‘Devil’s Bend’ in the Peruvian Amazon. They were demonstrating against the Peruvian government’s plans to strip the Indians of their rights and open up the Amazon to oil drilling and mining. The plans were a product of a 2006 free trade agreement between Peru and the U.S…However, more than 70% of the Peruvian Amazon has been allocated to oil companies.