The links below are absolute must read. Nothing I can add.
Hard-to-believe, but true story about media coverage of the Bagua massacre in Peru last month:
In Spanish on GCC
In English from IKN
Established media in Peru really dropped the ball on this. Who knows how many people read the government propaganda and misinformation and took it for fact since it came from the nation’s leading media outlets. Que basura!!!
El Comercio miente
Picture courtesy of Amazilia
After the violence in Bagua on June 5 it is good to read a few promising Peru news items:
This does not mean all is well in the world of politics in Peru, it’s only words at this point. But it’s hope for a beginning to the end of Alan Garcia’s sell-out-Peru, money-at-all-cost policies.
If you’ve been reading this blog for some time you know I love Peru. However, the government of Alan Garcia and its implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA/TLC) between Peru and the US has put Peru on the brink of becoming a Police State:
All this because of years of neglect (NY Times) of the indigenous people in Peru combined with Free Trade policies that have zoned 72% of the Peruvian Amazon for development and exploration (Duke University).
Alan Garcia cartoon, protest in Cusco
At the Corpus Christi celebrations in Cusco this week we saw this poster as one of many expressions of solidarity with the people of the Amazon. Unfortunately US and European media and governments have been largely quiet on the troubling developments in Peru. I’m convinced if the same kind of things took place in Ecuador, Venezuela or Bolivia – countries with left wing governments – there would be widespread media coverage and political condemnation.
People with different points of view may blame political opposition or foreign influence, but even if only 10% of the independent and eyewitness reports are true, the events at Bagua are still enough to demand Alan Garcia’s resignation.
It’s time to put ideologies aside and demand that Alan Garcia and his entire government resign!
I’m rather proud to see how the Belgian government has requested an investigation into the bloodbath at Bagua last week.
“Vice-Premier en Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Karel De Gucht betreurt het recente bloedige treffen in Peru tussen de Nationale Politie en een groep inheemse betogers. De nog voorlopige zware balans maakt gewag van meer dan 30 doden en 150 gewonden.
Minister De Gucht veroordeelt elk buitensporig gewelddadig optreden en verzoekt de Peruaanse autoriteiten de dialoog met de inheemse bevolking te hervatten.
Minister De Gucht roept de Peruaanse autoriteiten tevens op om een grondig en onafhankelijk onderzoek uit te voeren naar de feiten in kwestie. “
Loosely translated: “Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht regrets the recent violence between indigenous people and the Peruvian National Police. The Belgian government condemns unnecessary violence and requests that the Peruvian government opens a dialogue with the indigenous people. Minister De Gucht requests that the Peruvian authorities conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the events at Bagua.”
The racist pricks at Correo are denouncing this as foreign efforts to destabilize the country.
“…Estrategia. Según el ex canciller y parlamentario Luis Gonzales Posada, estas ONG responderían a una “estrategia internacional” para desestabilizar al país, por lo que pidió a la ministra de Justicia, Rosario Fernández, que instruya a los procuradores para denunciarlas. Demandó, además, la inmediata intervención de la APCI. …”
Belgium is trying to destabilize Peru… That is beyond laughable, so I borrowed this from Otto. To the delusional facists at Correo:
I’ve seen a number posts with ways you can express your voice about the bloodbath that happened yesterday in Bagua, in the Peruvian Amazon. Some good sites are Peruanista, Amazilia’s blog and IKN.
But frankly, the most effective action a US citizen can take is to write your elected representative and tell them no amount of free trade or money can ever be justification for bloodshed. Tell your reps that sections 16, 17 (labor) and 18 of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement are nothing but pie-in-the-sky promises that have no validity outside the wealthy areas of Lima. The US ought to demand the FTA is frozen or revoked until the government of Peru gets a dose of social equity.
Because of what happened, and Alan Garcia’s comments, there can be no other alternative: Alan Garcia must resign. If this kind of bloodshed had taken place in Bolivia or Venezuela, there would be international condemnation all the way from the White House. The accepted belief in the US and Europe that the government of Alan Garcia (30% approval rating) is somehow better than that of Evo Morales or Hugo Chavez (60% approval ratings) is perhaps understandable due to ideologies, but nevertheless completely false.
The macro-economic gains that Peru has enjoyed have not translated to improved quality of life for people in the provinces. The deep-rooted divisions between ethnic groups have only been amplified as the wealthy in Lima sell out the country’s natural resources with little or no benefit for indigenous people. And finally, all the so-called economic gains are extremely short-sighted. If the world economy experiences significant inflation for a few years – which is entirely possible – the large sums of foreign investment Alan Garcia and his cronies now rave about will seem like a pittance. But by then it will be too late, Peru’s vast natural resources will have been sold out. Future generations will work for pennies-on-the-dollar to pay for today’s windfall for a bunch of rich old guys in suits.
There are many great opportunities in Peru, the idea that bloodshed and selling out 72% of the Peruvian Amazon is somehow justifiable or necessary for progress is deplorable.
Here’s the news about sad, needless loss of life in the ongoing dispute between the Peruvian government in Lima and the indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, who are trying to protect their lands from development. In English from AP and in Spanish from El Comercio.
Another needless tragedy in a country that has fantastic human and natural resources.
There’s no justification for violence, and blame on both sides. Check out IKN for more insight on the developments leading up to this.
If the global events of the last year or so prove anything, it’s to be leary of rich old guys in suits. The money-at-all costs Peruvian government of Alan Garcia and APRA need to realize money is just a funny printed paper, making money in Lima is fruitless if it doesn’t improve the lives of all Peruvians.
There are now 7 police and 22 indigenous civilians reported killed in the unrest in Bagua, in the Peruvian Amazon.
Pictures and reports of reporters possibly also killed at La Republica.
Protest in Bagua, Peruvian Amazon
More on the Bagua situation and how you can voice concern:
As they say in Belgium “Trop is Te Veel, and Te Veel is Trop”. Time for Alan Garcia to resign.