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Peru's Indigenous People Win One Round Over Developers

World  (tags: world, peru, amazon, rainforest, indians, indigenous, people, human, rights, freedom, civil, liberty, politics, government, money, business, logging, hunting, fishing, habitat, destruction, environment, private, investment )

- 3241 days ago -
Private investment in the Amazon brought misery to its indigenous people. Logging and other activities ruined tribal lands and set off protests leading to the revocation of laws to further open the Amazon to outsiders. The Indians beat them by a knockout.

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Tierney G (381)
Wednesday July 8, 2009, 2:51 pm
Great news!! Thanks Tom

Jamie L (195)
Wednesday July 8, 2009, 3:25 pm
yahhh for them! :) Thanks Tom!

Joycey B (750)
Wednesday July 8, 2009, 4:16 pm
This is good to hear. Thanks Tom.

Leigh B (211)
Wednesday July 8, 2009, 9:26 pm
Great story and how courageous these people are, thanks Tom

RosemaryRannes HusbandNeedsPrayers (650)
Wednesday July 8, 2009, 9:50 pm
Absolutely awesome Tom ... finally! Thank you so much for this news :-)

this statement taken from the text of this story says:

Richard Chase Smith, executive director of Common Good Foundation, a Lima-based group that promotes indigenous civil rights, said Peru lags far behind other Latin American nations.

"Peruvians have been forced to come face to face with the fact that indigenous are largely invisible, a condition that will take two or three more generations to fix," Chase Smith said.

I honestly disagree with this statement because clearly the indigenous peoples are standing up for their rights, and laws are being changed in their favor as stated in this article.
It would be incredible if dialogue could happen rather than confrontation and violence which always sees casualties.

Tom i just wanted to share these links which further substantiate and exemplify the courage of indigenous tribes to protect their land and their lives from being decimated by greedy oil companies. > Ecuadors indigenous vs ChevronToxico


Elm Morrison (357)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 5:00 am
If the world did not stand with these indigenous peoples, the Peruvian government would never have caved in. When I read success stories here at Care2/internet, I know that every protest letter we send, every petition we sign does matter. Activists don't win often, but it is great YES, GREAT! when their efforts on behalf of the voiceless do make a difference.

I am very pleased the government has repealed these two laws. Thank you Tom

Karen S (106)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 5:11 am
This is great news. I agree with Eureka........when the rest of the world is watching and demanding accountability, it can create enough pressure for government to make change. Thanks Tom.

mary f (202)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 11:50 am
this is good news

Fiona O (565)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 1:38 pm
I concur completely with Eureka.

Mandi T (375)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 2:33 pm

Nora J (229)
Thursday July 9, 2009, 3:51 pm
People power - I'm all for it. Thanks, Tom and thanks for the links, Rosemary.

Pamylle G (461)
Friday July 10, 2009, 3:20 am
Bravo to these brave people fighting for the Earth !

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday July 10, 2009, 5:24 am
Bravo for these courageous indigenous people, who risked their lives to defend their lands and livelihood. Peruvian military shot at them from helicopters, it was a massacre in which many more were killed than the 10 that the LATimes has reported here, citing Peruvian "officials," but not the indigenous protesters. (Please see below for more on the cover-up)

While it's wonderful to have a victory to celebrate, we shouldn't forget that this is just one battle, "one round," as the article says -- and the war is not over!

The article reports that "some of the groups said it would take MORE THAN the revocation of two laws to mollify them," and tribal leader Luis "Pizango said last week that his group wanted a half dozen other decrees revoked."

President Alan Garcia "described the laws that the indigenous object to, including the two that were revoked, as essential in meeting criteria for a bilateral free trade agreement with the U.S. that went into effect in January."

In order to comply with the free trade agreement, U.S./Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, Peru will surely come up with other ways to open the Amazon region up to economic development. The indigenous people are not going to be able to demobilize and rest on their laurels!

By the way, the leader of the indigenous protests whom I read/heard about in Democracy Now! coverage, was not Luis Pizango, but ALBERTO Pizango!

On June 11, The Independent reported:

"The jungle massacre: Peru's tribal chief flees country"

"The leader of Peru's Amazon Indians will be flown to exile in Nicaragua after seeking asylum following violent demonstrations that killed scores of police and protesters.

ALBERTO Pizango, the head of Aidesep (the Peruvian Jungle Interethnic Development Association), which represents 56 tribes, spent yesterday at the Nicaraguan embassy in Lima. Dozens of his followers died during protests against new laws that will leave swathes of their ancestral homelands open to oil and gas exploration. He has been charged by his own government with "sedition, conspiracy and rebellion".

The London-based pressure group, Survival International, called on oil firms to withdraw from Peru, describing the incident as "The Amazon's Tiananmen" and accusing security forces, who have since imposed a curfew over the region, of burying and burning corpses to hide the scale of the killing."

The Huffington Post: "Human rights lawyers have since accused the President Alan Garcia's regime of an orchestrated cover-up. Official figures put the death toll at just 32, including 23 policemen. News reports say the number of deaths is closer to 60, and vast numbers of missing people have yet to be accounted for. A delegation of human rights lawyers, who visited the scene yesterday (06/11/09), told the BBC hundreds of demonstrators were still missing."

Alberto Pizango is quoted by Amy Goodman ( as saying: "They’ve said that we indigenous peoples are against the system, but, no, we want development, but from our perspective, development that adheres to legal conventions. ... The government has not consulted us. Not only am I being persecuted, but I feel that my life is in danger, because I am defending the rights of the peoples, the legitimate rights that the indigenous people have.”

I say that if a Luis Pizango has become acting head of the movement because Alberto has had to flee the country and still cannot dare return, then there is still a serious problem for the indigenous people in Peru, who have lost their original leader.

Greg K (11)
Friday July 10, 2009, 9:15 am
Thanks Tom. These reports add hope that foreign businesses can't just take land, resources and rights away from the indigenous people of Peru and other resource-rich countries. The concept that for in order for someone to succeed, someone else has to fail miserably needs a really close examination. There certainly must be a win-win situation based on fairness rather than greed.

Tom M (814)
Friday July 10, 2009, 2:15 pm
Thanks everyone, especially Rosemary and Alba for adding so much to this story!

Joanna D (216)
Friday July 10, 2009, 2:37 pm
TY Tom
I know that lots of friends signed this petition but please forward and sign if you haven't done it:

Protect Indigenous Rights - Save the Amazon!

232,601 people have shown their support to the indigenous struggle. Help us get to 250,000

UPDATE: in response to the massive national and international outcry, last Thursday, Peru's legislature has revoked two of the controversial decrees -- this is just the first step. Let's keep it up!

Winefred M (88)
Saturday July 11, 2009, 1:51 pm
One victory for them! Thanks Tom.

sue M (184)
Saturday July 11, 2009, 3:04 pm
While we may not gather together and fight for our own Native people's we can at least gather and fight for others and actually win!
Perhaps this will help us realize we have such a great fight here at home that is really needed and wanted too!
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