23 Jun 2009
House of Commons told of massacre in the Amazon
I attended Cafod's meeting in the House of Commons with speakers from Peru Support and Survival International on the attacks on indigenous people in Peru.
President Alan Garcia condemned the indigenous as 'primitives', repealed laws protecting their land and sent solidiers into kill them when they protested.
Marijke Deleu, an eyewitness to the killings at Bagua, showed us graphic photos of bullet wounds and burned victims of the Peruvian regime.
The indigenous are highly organised and their protests have forced the Peruvian congress to restore protection of their land.
After being shown these photos, the Peruvian Ambassador was asked to respond...he started by condemning the fact that no MPs had come along to hear him and asked that this compliant would be 'off the record'. He was quite angry about the lack of MPs, while I don't generally defend British members of parliament, they were a bit busy yesterday during the meeting voting for a new speaker of the house of commons.
I was able to convey my disgust to the Ambassador, I spoke after him and read a statement from the indigenous condemning his government.
he did apologies for the killings and suggested exploitation of their indigenous land would cease...he rather spoiled this by trying to connect the protest of the indigenous, indirectly, with the guerillas of Shining Path and by arguing that much of the land in the Amazon was occupied by people who wearn't really indigenous.
Shining Path and Alan Garcia both have indigenous blood on their hands.
Lets make no mistake but for the protest of the indigenous their land would be stolen, more of the Amazon logged and oil production expanded.
The meeting in committee room 9 was totally packed with speaker after speaker, many of whom were Peruvians condemning the Ambassador's government.
by the way glad to see Climate Camp people getting stuck in with a blockade of the Peruvian Embassy.
The Green Party in Canada put out an excellent statement criticising Alan Garcia, like to see more solidarity from the Green Party of England and Wales...incidentally I think the Greens in Europe could learn a lot from the indigenous.