from Weekly News Update on the Americas

On Feb. 1, some 150 Peruvian indigenous people from the Awajun (Aguaruna) and Achuar tribes took over the Petroperu oil company’s No. 5 pumping station in Saramiriza, Manseriche district, in Daten del Maranon province, Loreto region. The indigenous protesters want Loreto regional president Robinson Rivadeneyra to fulfill the promises he agreed to last year following a similar protest; specifically their demands include installation of a local branch of the state’s Banco de la Nacion bank, construction of a bridge and respect for indigenous land rights.

On Feb. 7, police agents fired tear gas bombs and bullets at the oil site protesters, killing 17-year-old Mario Vargas Paredes and wounding five or six people with bullets. Five protest leaders were arrested and taken away by helicopter to an unknown location. Angered by the police violence, some 350 local residents armed with bows and arrows reoccupied the oil pumping station on the morning of Feb. 8. Evin Querebalu, general secretary of the Union of Petroleos del Peru Workers, denied that any protester had been killed; he said normal operations had resumed at the pumping station on Feb. 8. (Inter-Ethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Jungle, AIDESEP, Feb. 9; Diario Peru 21, Feb. 9)

On the night of Feb. 16, more than 400 Achuar, Quechua and mestizo residents of Andoas in Loreto region occupied an airfield of the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol and tried to block a small plane of the Aero Condor airline from landing there. At midnight on Feb. 18, the protesters lifted the blockade after reaching an agreement with the company. The protesters also abandoned plans to occupy the Pluspetrol offices, an electrical plant and the Petroperu No. 1 pumping station. In the accord, Pluspetrol agreed to finish several infrastructure projects in March which it had promised since 2004. A technical team will be sent to evaluate the contamination of local rivers, for which residents are demanding compensation. (El Comercio, Peru, Feb. 19)

Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 20


On Jan. 10 Peru’s National Elections Tribunal (JNE) rejected an effort by former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) to run in the April 9 presidential elections. Congress barred Fujimori from holding public office until 2011, but his daughter, Keiko Sofia Fujimori, formally registered his candidacy on Jan. 6. The former president has been in prison in Chile since Nov. 6 while the Peruvian government attempts to extradite him to face trial on 21 charges of corruption and human rights violations. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, Jan. 1)

Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 5


Weekly News Update on the Americas

See also WW4 REPORT #118


Reprinted by WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, March 1, 2006
Reprinting permissible with attribution