Legal proceedings continue in Bagua, a town on the edge of the rainforest in Peru's Amazonas region, against 25 Awajún and Wampis indigenous activists over deadly violence at a pumping station for the North Peru Oilduct in June 2009. Station 6 had at that time been under occupation by indigenous activists opposed to expansion of oil operations into their Amazonian homelands. Violence broke out at the occupied pumping station on June 5, 2009, when word reached the activists there of that morning's Bagua massacre, precipitated by National Police attacking an indigenous roadblock outside the town. Ten agents of DINOES, the National Police elite anti-riot force, were slain in the clash at Station 6. Prominent indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, already cleared of charges connected to the violence at Bagua, is now among those being tried for the bloodshed at Station 6. The trial at the Bagua Penal Chamber opened Jan. 9, with the defendants facing possible life terms for kidnapping, armed rebellion, riot and other charges. (La República, Ideele Radio, Lima, Jan. 9)
Another trial related to the Station 6 incident, in which 22 Awajún and Wampis activists face murder charges, opened Sept. 1 in the same courtroom. Attorney Juan José Quispe of Peru's Legal Defense Institute (IDL) is seeking to have charges dropped against several of the defendants, asserting that they had been arrested that morning in the clash at Bagua, and therefore could not have been at Station 6 at the time of the violence there. Four facing charges in the Station 6 case remain at large and under arrest orders. (La República, Sept. 1, 2017; Radio Reina de la Selva, Chachapoyas, Amazonas, July 14, 2017)
Media reports at the time of the violence (e.g. La República of June 7, 2009) said the police agents at Station 6 were klled "in vengeance" for the attack at Bagua.
Photo: Radio Reina de la Selva
Political intrigues in Peru’s Amazonas
Amazonas Gov. Gilmer Horna Corrales, elected as a populist and advocate for the region's indigenous peoples, is the target of a money-laundering investigation opened by Peruvian prosecutors in December. Within days of announcement of the investigation, the region's vice-governor, Carlos Emilio Navas del Águila, received a death threat at his home in Chachapoyas. The severed head of a dog was left outside his door, with a note reading "Así mueren los traidores bocones" (This is how blabbermouth traitors die). He told the media he believed the Horna Corrales machine was behind the attack. (El Comercio, Jan. 3; El Comercio, Dec. 15)
New oil spill on North Peru pipeline
A new rupture on the North Peru Oilduct occured Feb. 27, contaminating local waters in San Pedro, distrito de Urarinas, región Loreto. It was the third major leak on the line following those of June 2014 and November 2016. (PUINAMUDT) After the 2016 leak, local Kukama indigenous alliance ACODECOSPAT released video footage of the damage to the same communities that are now again impacted. (PUINAMUDT)