Peru, Indigenous Groups, Still Deadlocked

"LIMA, Peru -- After more than two months of protests by Peru's Amazonian indigenous groups and clashes that have left at least 34 people dead and 150 injured, the conflict over nine laws that facilitate development of the Amazon region is still deadlocked, though with small signs that it might be resolved.

During the past week, thousands of Amazonian Indians traveled from remote villages to new protest sites. Members of the Ashanika tribe have blockaded the Carretera Central -- the central highway between Lima with the Amazon region -- while other protesters have occupied a rural airport in Andahuaylas. ...

Last week, Peruvian authorities charged indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, president of the Peruvian Rainforest Inter-Ethnic Development Association, AIDESEP, with homicide, sedition and other crimes in response to the death of 24 police officers in clashes with protesters on June 5 and 6. After several days in hiding, Pizango took refuge in the embassy of Nicaragua, which has granted him asylum."

David Dudenhoefer reports for Environment News Service June 15, 2009.

Source: ENS, 06/16/2009