Reuters reports today that, “Protesters (in Peru) said 30 of their own died and the government said 22 members of their security forces perished in two days of clashes (in the Amazon jungle) over (President Alan) Garcia’s drive to bring foreign companies to the rainforest to open mines and drill for oil. The bloodshed has …threatened to derail the government’s push to further open Peru to foreign investors.”
“Indigenous tribes, worried they will lose control over natural resources, have protested since April seeking to force Congress to repeal new laws that encourage foreign mining and energy companies to invest billions of dollars in the rain forest.”
“Indigenous groups oppose laws passed last year as Garcia moved to bring Peru’s regulatory framework into compliance with a free-trade agreement with the United States.”
It should also be noted that the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement was signed in May 2008, approved by the House of Commons this past week, is expected to be approved by the Senate shortly, and will come into effect this July.
Global Response has a sample letter you can send to the Peruvian government and various United Nations agencies.
The letter includes a demand for the Peruvian government to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. You may remember that Canada is now just one of three countries world-wide that opposes this declaration. More on that in the campaign blog
Reuters news article Tension roils Peru after deadly Amazon clashes
The Council of Canadians