(Updated: June 5) On May 9, 2009, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in the regions of Loreto, Amazonas, Cusco, and Ucayali–where thousands of indigenous people have mobilized against several new laws that threaten to strip away their indigenous land rights.
In effect, the state of emergency (SoE) is a “declaration of war” against “those who seek to change the course of history,” says Roger Rumrrill: A license for the government to violently repress Indigenous People.
The real state of emergency
One day before the SoE was announced, AIDESEP, the National Organization of the Amazon Indigenous people of Peru, and several other key indigenous and peasant organizations pledged unanimously to “radicalize” the mobilization, which is backed by more than 1200 communities.
They say it is the only thing they could do to “resolve the mobilization,” since the government refuses to act responsibly and repeal the laws in question.
As far as needs and rights go, this is the real state of emergency in Peru right now. Indeed, the mobilization isn’t some “misinformed” adventure as the government would have us believe—as if the needs and rights of Indigenous people can be relegated to mere provender, and then tossed aside for the “greater good” of foreign bank accounts.
No, the mobilization is a struggle for life itself. And it is one that will continue no matter what rhetoric or violence the government puts out during their own State of Emergency.
What You Can Do
1. Join the Solidarity with Peru group on Facebook
2. Send a Message to the President of Peru (additional contacts) asking him to:
- Repeal the Free Trade Laws that allow oil, logging, and agricultural corporations easy entry into indigenous territories
- Suspend the State of Emergency and suppression of peaceful protests
- Respect indigenous peoples’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to self-determination, to their ancestral territories, and to prior consultation
- Enter into good faith process of dialogue with indigenous peoples to resolve this conflict
Peru Mobilization Updates (As of June 5)
- June 5 – Police Violently Attack Peaceful Indigenous Blockade (at least 20 dead, hundreds more injured)
- June 3 – (ES) Peru Solidarity: indefinite strike announced if Amazon People’s demands are not met
- June 3 – (ES) Amazon Fight grows in Cusco and Loreto
- June 3 – (ES) Napo River Natives denounce Navy aggression
- June 2 – (EN/ES) UN: President of the Indigenous Forum calls for end to state of emergency
- June 2 – (Spanish) – massive sit-in across the banks of the Napo River
- May 29 – Thousands march in Lima in support of Amazon Indigenous
- May 28 – Day 50 of Indigenous Protests in Peru
- May 28 – clashes in the Amazon ended up with 20 protesters under arrest
- May 28 – (Spanish) Roadblock continues between Jaen and Bagua
- May 28 – Peru’s Indigenous Congresswoman speaks at the UN Forum of Indigenous Issues
- May 27 – (Spanish) Seven wounded and 20 arrested in Iquitos
- May 26 – (Spanish) Good News! Legislative decree 994 declared unconstitutional
- May 25 – (Spanish) Awajun Wampis continue their protest
- May 25 – Native organizations call for another strike, in Bagua
- May 21 – (Spanish) protest action in support of the indigenous struggle
- May 20 – Good News! Peru’s Congress repealed legislative decree 1090 and re-opened negotiations
- May 18 – Indigenous avoid provocations and Shipibo/Conibo joins the struggle
- May 18 – Video and photos of police attack near Bagua, Peru
- May 18 – Peru oil pipeline halted on protests in Amazon
- May 18 – Peru army moves into Amazon after tribes blockade rivers and roads
- May 17 – Peru dispatches army to quell indigenous protests
- May 16 – Indigenous groups declare ‘insurgency’ in Peru
- May 14 – Talks Fall Flat; Indigenous Protests Rage On
- May 12 – (Spanish) Yurimaguas Tarapoto road-blocked by the people and Shawi Cocama Cocamilla
- May 12 – State of emergency rejected in Peru’s amazon basin provinces
- May 11 – Indigenous leaders declare hunger strike in Peruvian Congress to protest FTA decrees
- May 10 – (Spanish) Awajun and Wampis block Corral Quemado bridge, (English) violent clash follows (Video)
- May 9 – Catholic Bishops in Peru’s Amazon call for protection of ethnic communities
- May 8 – (Spanish) 400 Indigenous People blockade road in Lamas Province
- April 27 – Campesinos Unite with Amazonian Indigenous Peoples
- April 24 – Action Platform of the Amazonian Indigenous Peoples (AIDESEP)
- April 16 – Indigenous Demonstrations Shut Down Roads and River Traffic in Peruvian Amazon
- April 9 – Peruvian Indigenous Peoples Mobilize Across the Amazon to Demand Government Respects Land Rights