Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peru update: Decrees suspended for 90 days

Update from Amazon Watch

Peru Congress Suspends Two Divisive Decrees

Six days after National Police violently attacked indigenous people in Bagua, Peru protesting free trade decrees that threaten to open the Amazon to oil, mining, and logging operations the Peruvian Congress issued a 90-day suspension of legislative decrees 1090 and 1064 yesterday in order to restore dialogue. Indigenous peoples are seeking revocation not suspension of all 10 decrees, and it remains to be seen if the action will lead to a re-start of talks with Amazonian indigenous peoples.
"Let's talk. After you cool down in about 3 months, then we'll steal your land and decimate your way of life and culture."
International human rights organizations are also calling on the Peruvian government to cancel arrest warrants for and guarantee respect for the rights of indigenous leaders who were hundreds of miles away from Bagua during the confrontation. No dialogue process will be possible if the representatives of the various indigenous peoples fear for their safety.
"Good, we can talk to who we want. It's not like these indigenous leaders are elected or anything."

Update: Meanwhile, just 42 minutes ago, this report came in.

Police fire tear gas in Peru protests
Riot police have fired tear gas to keep protesters away from Peru's Congress as thousands march in favor of Amazon Indians who want it to overturn laws they say threaten their lands.
Some 4,000 students, labor unions and other native Peruvians from the country's Andean highlands to its jungle lowlands joined the mostly peaceful nationwide protests.

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