Peru: indigenous leaders demand “truth commission” on Amazon massacre

After consulting with some 300 apus (traditional chiefs) from Amazon communities, the Peruvian indigenous alliance AIDESEP announced Aug. 24 that it is putting off a decision to return to its paro (protest campaign) to give dialogue with the government more time. But AIDESEP spokesman Salomón Awanash warned the administration of President Alan García to take the talks more seriously. “We don’t want advisors, but actors who can make decisions,” he said. He also said that AIDESEP is demanding an independent “truth commission” to investigate the June 5 violence at Bagua, in Amazonas region, which has been dubbed the “Amazon’s Tiananmen.” (El Comercio, Lima, Aug. 24; Agencia Pulsar, Aug. 21)

Meanwhile, regional apus are meeting at Diamante in Madre de Dios region to arrive at a stance on the Hunt Oil operations that began two months ago in an area bordering the buffer zones of Manu and Bahuaja-Sonene national parks, Tambopata Candamo national reserve and Amarakaire indigenous reserve. The exploitation bloc covers 1.5 million hectares of rainforest, and is to include over 150 heliports. (La Primera, Lima, Aug. 24)

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

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