News / 11 June 2009

Crisis in the Peruvian Amazon

Friday 5 June 2009 was a tragic day for the future of the Peruvian Amazon. At least 31 people have died in clashes between the security forces and indigenous people in the Amazon region. Those killed included indigenous people and policemen. An unknown number of civil people are wounded, arrested or have disappeared. The fights took place at a jungle highway near the town of Bagua, as a result of an operation of Peruvian police forces to disperse the roadblocks formed by protesting indigenous people.


Indigenous groups are demonstrating already for more than 56 days against several decrees and laws regarding the forests and wild life that were promulgated by the Peruvian state in the context of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. These decrees related to forest and wild life, were justified by the government as part of the way to achieve development, in the context of the Free Trade Agreement with the USA.

The Peruvian Amazon forest is wanted for its potential profits, in a worldwide context of a growing shortage of natural resources. The indigenous peoples organisations do not claim the ultimate ownership of the Amazon forest, but ask for a voice in the decision making process in the development of the region. This tragic incident illustrates how ignoring peoples rights and participation in processes that affect peoples livelihoods and lands can lead to serious social conflicts and failed policies. This should bring lessons learned to guarantee that indigenous peoples rights should be considered an integral part of development processes.


Both ENDS is shocked by the violence in Peru, and the repression of NGOs and indigenous people. Both ENDS calls for an immediate independent investigation and demands the Peruvian government to allow international monitors. For more information please read the Both ENDS article on the current humanitarian crisis in Peru, or contact Magali Llatas.

Both ENDS offers interested media the opportunity to contact our partner organisations in Peru.


For more information contact Ilma Kramer at 020 530 6604.


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