Peru: “truth commission” on Amazon massacre established

Carlos Navas, mayor of Imazita in Peru’s Amazonas region and spokesman for the indigenous aliance AIDESEP, hailed the government’s formation of an investigative comission on the Bagua massacre as “an important step” towards reconciliation in the wake of June’s deadly unrest. Agriculture Minister Adolfo De Córdova announced Sept. 2 that seven members of the comission have been chosen—three elected by AIDESEP, three chosen by the Executive Branch, and one to represent Peru’s regional governments.

The members chosen by AIDESEP are former Interior Minister Pilar Mazzeti Soler (the first woman to occupy the post), Spanish nun Mary Carmen Gómez Calleja and Jesús Manacés Valverde, a law professor of the Aguaruna (Awajún) ethnicity. Representing the executive branch are the priest Ricardo Álvarez Lobo; former Women’s Minister Susana Pinilla, and the dean of the Colegio de Abogados de Lima (bar association), Walter Gutiérrez. The delegate for regional governments is sociologist Manuel Bernales. The commission is to present its final report Dec. 26, when a national plan for the development of the Amazon regions will also be presented. (RPP, 24 Horas Libre, Living in Peru, Sept 3; El Comercio, Sept. 2)

Simultaneously, in an evident step backwards, a district court judge in Utcubamba overturned charges that had been brought Aug. 7 by since-demoted national prosecutor Luz Marleny Rojas against National Police generals Elías Muguruza and Javier Uribe for their role in the massacre. The Utcubamba court cited irregularities in the case assembled against the generals. (CNR, Sept. 2)

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

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