Action Update: Peru Indigenous Rights

June 28, 2009 by  
Filed under News


We still have to massively support the Peruvian Indians.
~Russell Means

The following message is from

June 27th, 2009

After 70 days of indigenous protests, culminating in the deadly events of June 5th and 6th, the tensions appear to be subsiding as the government concedes to indigenous demands. Crucially, last week the Peruvian Congress repealed Decrees 1090 and 1064, two of the nine “free trade” decrees opposed by indigenous peoples.

President Alan Garcia has also reversed his racist discourse against Amazonian indigenous peoples, admitting “errors and exaggerations.” Garcia’s already dismal public approval rating has recently slid from 30 to 21 percent. More than 90 percent of those surveyed said Garcia should have consulted indigenous peoples before instituting decrees that affect their rights, with more than 85 percent disapproved of his handling of the conflict. Just today, the Government lifted the State of Emergency that had been in effect since May 9.

While these milestones are significant, there is still a long road ahead. AIDESEP (the Inter-Ethnic Association for Development in the Peruvian Rain Forest) continues to demand that the government drop all outstanding legal charges against their leaders and representatives.

In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to call for an independent investigation into the violence in both Bagua and Station 6; for the repeal or significant reform of the remaining 7 controversial decrees, and for a guarantee that the government not try to put in play similar executive decrees or legislative initiatives.

In this continuing struggle for justice and indigenous self-determination in the Peruvian Amazon, your acts of solidarity are of utmost importance.

Below are the listing of Legislative Decrees opposed by AIDESEP, including the repealed 1090 & 1064, and the corresponding concerns of AIDESEP. Taken cumulatively, the decrees represent an assault on the rights of indigenous small landholders, as well as individual and communal rights.

Controversial Legislative Decrees:


Concerns of AIDESEP

994: Promotes private investment to expand the agricultural frontier

Risk that it increases the sale of community lands to private businesses

995: Re-launches the Agricultural Bank

Authorizing a larger portion of private investors, it shifts from being a bank for small farmers

1020: Consolidation of rural property for agrarian credit

Favors large land owners vs. interests of small land owners

1060: Regulates the National System of Agrarian Innovation

Stimulating biotechnology, it favors the importation of transgenic foods into the agricultural market

1064: Approves the judicial regime for use of agrarian lands

Eliminates previous consultation procedure with indigenous communities, which threatens their rights

1081: Creation of National System of Hydrological Resources

Allows for privatization of water resources

1083: Promotion of efficient use of water resources and the need for efficiency certificates

Favors farmers who use technological watering techniques

1089: Establishes extraordinary temporary regime for formalization and titling of rural lands

Threatens community rights because it promotes the sale of lands to third-parties for extraction of oil and mining resources, amongst other activities

1090: Establishes a National Plan of Forest Development

Sells the forest to private companies for commercial exploitation

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