Peru demands Interpol arrest exiled indigenous leaders

Peru issued a formal request to Interpol Aug. 27 for the capture of three Amazon indigenous leaders who have taken political asylum in Nicaragua, including Alberto Pizango, leader of the protest campaign that climaxed in violent conforntations in June. Pizango is accused of “sedition,” homicide and attacking the armed forces.

Also named in the request are the brothers Saúl and Cervando Puerta, who have joined Pizango in Nicaraguan exile. Two other named in the request, Marcial Mudarra and Teresita Antazú, have been in hiding since June and their whereabouts is unknown. The request demands their “immediate location and capture at an international level, with preventative detention prior to their extradition” to Peru.

The judge in the case, Carmen Arauco, said the five “are imputed to have made in May apologias for sedition and riot, encousing the native community to adopt violent methods and radicalize the protests being carried out in Bagua,” in the Peruvian Amazon. (El Nuevo Diario, Managua, Aug. 28)

From Managua, Pizango told the Lima daily La Republica that the case against him is “more political than judicial,” and accused the Peruvian government of seeking to derail the dialogue underway with indigenous leaders. He said he is confident that no international warrant will be issued: “I maintain my condition of exile in Nicaragua, and in this country Interpol cannot arrest me.” (La Republica, Aug. 26)

See our last post on Peru and the struggle for the Amazon.

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