21 Aug 2009

Defending the defenceless: Peru's most wanted refuses to be silenced

Just saw this in the Independent, don't forget public meeting to support the indigenous in Peru, thursday 27th August, 6.30pm Exmouth Arms, near Euston.

From her jungle hideaway, Teresita Lopez tells Guy Adams why she won't give up fighting for her persecuted people


Amazonian Indians armed with spears set up a road block in Yurimaguas, northern Peru in June to protest government plans to let foreign firms in

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Teresita Lopez is in hiding. "Somewhere in the Amazon" is as much as she is willing to reveal about her current location now she has been placed on the Peruvian government's most-wanted list.


The authorities in Lima have charged her with inciting murder, sedition and insurrection. Nonsense, she says. All she has been doing is protecting the rights of Peru's 350,000-strong Amazonian Indian community and helping them safeguard their traditional way of life, under threat from a President keen to open the Amazon to international mining, logging and oil companies.

"The indigenous people of the Amazon don't ask anything of the government because it has never supported us," Lopez said in an interview. "All we demand is respect for our ways of life, and respect for our rights as citizens to live on our land – where we were born and where we will die."

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