Peru: Puno protesters suspend strike, call for resurrection of Aymara Nation

More than 20,000 local Aymara residents filled the public square in Desaguadero, in Peru’s southern region of Puno, to hear Walter Aduviri, leader of the Natural Resources Defense Front of the Southern Zone of Puno, announce a formal end to the civil strike that the organization has maintained for more than 40 days. Aduviri said the decision was taken after consultation with the Front’s base communities along the shores of Lake Titicaca. In his address, he detailed accords reached in recent negotiations with the government in Lima for the suspension of a controversial mining concession in Puno. (Radio Onda Azul, Puno, June 26)

In an interview days later in the Puno newspaper Los Andes, Aduviri called for reconstituting the “Aymara nation,” now straddling the borders of Peru, Bolivia and Chile, and hailed the recent meeting between Bolivian President Evo Morales and Peru’s president-elect Ollanta Humala as step towards integrating the divided Aymara realm. “The Aymaras have no border line,” Aduviri said. “If we can win the unification of the Aymaras of the three countries, we will have coast [in Chile], sierra [Peru-Bolivia-Chile] and selva [rainforest, in Bolivia].” The newspaper said that upon his return from the negotiations in Lima, Aduviri had been “ratified as the absolute leader of the Aymara nation.” (Los Andes, June 29)

See our last post on the struggle in Puno.

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