PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE
Police Violently Attack Peaceful Indigenous Blockade in Peruvian Amazon, Killing Many
- Peruvian police reportedly shot indigenous protesters from helicopters -- as they were peacefully protecting their ancestral land.
RENEWED CALL TO PROTEST/TAKE ACTION: Online affinity campaign demanding Peru respect indigenous rights continues at:
June 5, 2009
By Rainforest Rescue and Earth's Newsdesk, Ecological Internet
Peru's police have clashed with Amazon tribes opposed to foreign companies opening oil wells and mines in their rainforests without their consent. Police reportedly shot at protesters from helicopters, killing as many as twelve blockading a road to protect their land. Amazon Watch and Western media report indigenous protesters outside of Bagua, in a remote area of northern Peruvian Amazon, were forcibly dispersed by tear gas and real bullets. Reuters reports 12 protesters were killed, while Agence France-Presse puts it at 9. It may have been worse.
The threat of continued violence is real and imminent. Some 30,000 indigenous people have blockaded roads, rivers and railways for months to demand repeal of new laws that allow oil, mining and logging companies to enter indigenous territories without their consent or even any consultation. Reinhard Behrend, Rainforest Rescue's Director, notes "it is important to realize that our overconsumption in the rich and emerging nations is at the root cause of deadly conflict for rainforests and Indians. We ask people to eliminate their use of industrially harvested timbers, oil and minerals from the world's rainforests, and protest this senseless violence at Peru embassies all over the world."
Indigenous communities complain that some 70% of Peruvian Amazon territory is now leased for oil and gas exploration, putting at risk their own lives and the biodiversity of the Amazon. Some of the controversial laws encouraging foreign investment in the Amazon were passed last year as President Garcia moved to bring Peru's regulatory framework into compliance with a free-trade agreement with the United States.
"The same indigenous abuses suffered historically to access resources by the West continue to this day. All Earth's citizens must demand the Peru government respect indigenous land rights, and pursue locally controlled ecologically sustainable development in the Amazon based upon the benefits of standing trees and intact ecosystems," says Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet's President.
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reinhard Behrendt, email@example.com
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Ecological Internet provides the world's largest and most used climate and environment portals at http://www.climateark.org/ and http://www.ecoearth.info/ . Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue) organizes protest actions and email protests against rainforest destruction by loggers, oil and mining companies, and development projects.
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