8 Nov 2009

Statement against criminalization of Amazonians

My understanding from reading the Aidesep website is that Alan Garcia has retreated from his attempt to dissolve the people in the Amazon, I mean from attempting to dissolve Aidesep, nonetheless excellent article on the situation from Green Left Weekly.

GLW remains essential, all serious Greens should take a look at it for good information on the global struggles against climate chaos, other ecological threats and for social justice.

Peru: Government attacks indigenous organisation

7 November 2009

November 4, 2009 --The government of Peru has launched a massive attack on Indigenous peoples through a request to dissolve the Amazon Interethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), Peru's largest and most representative Indigenous organisation. AIDESEP groups numerous regional organisations, representing 65 ethnic groups and has led the struggle against the Garcia governments neoliberal decrees (which are part of the US Free Trade Agreement) aimed at opening up huge swathes of the Amazon to exploitation by transnational logging, mining and oil companies.

Since the Indigneous uprising in Bagua in which an unknown number of Indigneous people were massacred by Peruvian police on June 5, 2009, the leaders of AIDESEP have been facing political persecution, some have been arrested and its president, Alberto Pizango, has been forced to flee and seek asylum in Nicaragua.

Below is a statement below by Andean and Amazonian peoples protesting against the government's attempt to dissolve their organisation. It has been translated by Kiraz Janicke. Janicke maintains a blog on Peruvian politics.

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Pronouncement by the Andean and Amazonian peoples: For our rights and in defence of organisational autonomy

Against the request by the public prosecutor of the Ministry of Justice to order the dissolution of the national organisation of Indigenous peoples that make up the Amazon Interethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), the community organisations and Indigenous peoples of Peru, and various civil society organisations, express the following:

1. That continuing with its policy of silencing the organisations representing Indigenous peoples, the government through the public prosecutor of the Ministry of Justice has requested the dissolution of the Interethnic Association for Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP), as notified October 15, 2009, by the 37th Criminal Court of Lima. This act corresponds to the interests of ending the representative organisations ofIindigenous peoples and communities, and at the same time aims to sharpen social discontent promoting new mobilisations and uprisings, in order to later blame others.

2. Once again the government implements its policy of double standards, because on one hand it announces the installation of spaces for dialogue with Indigenous organisations and the other seeks to dismantle the organisations that have spoken out against the unconsultative application of a series of public policies and legal measures that undermine our legitimate rights to self-determination, land, consultation and others. This shows it is putting economic interests before our rights as Indigenous peoples.

3. We denounce this practice that is not unique to the incumbent government, but habitual of the regimes in recent decades. It seeks to silence and destroy existing organisations or generate other parallel entitites using individuals or organisations that lack representation and legitimacy. This and other situations have led to a series of recommendations by international agencies that monitor compliance with treaties and conventions as in the case of CERD, CEACR-ILO, High Commissioner of United Nations and others.

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