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Peru: 3 years after the tragedy of Bagua, NGO says little has changed - criminalization of social protest against extractive projects continues

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6 June 2012

Three Years after the Tragedy of Bagua and Little Has Changed

Author: Gregor MacLennan. Amazon Watch

Three years ago yesterday, Peruvian police, in an attempt to end 55 days of peaceful indigenous protests across the Amazon basin, opened fire on a group of protesters...near the town of Bagua...The violent clashes that ensued left 34 dead and over 200 injured...Each group of protestors had their own fight - a gold mine...ongoing contamination from 40 years of oil drilling in Corrientes, ongoing spills from the Camisea Gas project...Today, Peru has a new government...hopes faded with Humala's response to massive mobilizations against the $4.8 billion Conga open-pit mining project [joint venture Buenaventura & Newmont]...From the Achuar peoples' protest against proposed drilling by Talisman Energy...to marches...against the threat to the city's drinking water by ConocoPhillips, and increasing number of indigenous peoples are speaking out in defense of their water and their future. Unfortunately Humala continues to walk in the footsteps of Garcia...

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5 June 2012

[PDF] Public statement by the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon – AIDESEP

Author: Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP)

Three years ago, the Peruvian State reacted against the Amazonian indigenous struggle with bullets. The result was a senseless violence because at the end of the day, we indigenous people were proven to be right as are the peoples of Cajamarca and Espinar: the laws for privatization and subdividing of indigenous territories and the anti-indigenous forestry law were struck down. This national tragedy left us diverse lessons, some of which have been learned and others forgotten. The current government has ended up reacting the same way, today in Espinar and Cajamarca and previously in Tacna and Paita… We Amazonian indigenous peoples…commemorate with deep reflection this fifth of June. We affirm that we are subjects and never again “objects” of this (bad) “development” which brings “progress” to an elite class and poverty, depredation, and repression to the majority. Our homage is to reiterate the objectives and demands of our Amazonian Plan for Full Life…

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