# Jason W. Smith, Ph.D. says :
June 26, 2009 [ 18:08 ]
Perhaps this is a better place to post Mr. Rabioso's note on my article.
The International Brigade
An International Brigade of revolutionary fighters has been formed to support the National Liberation struggles of the people of Peru and Colombia currently being oppressed by fascist dictatorships in comprador relationship with US imperialism. In the USA our Party – the Communist Foundation Party of the United States of America - CFP USA (http://www.communistfoundationpartyusa.org) has been asked to report developments and we will do so to the degree we are provided with reliable information.
As is well known imperialist troops have been in Colombia for many years. In 2008 “special forces” from the US Army (Green Berets) and US Navy (Seals) were sent in to South America to organize small unit disruptive actions against both of the two National Liberation armies operating in that country. This new strategy was spelled out by the imperialist chieftain Kaplan in a series of lectures at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. What is happening in Colombia, Peru and other target countries is the only alternative imperialism has at the moment having run out of money.
Sources confirm this same Gringo scum as is operating in Colombia is also operating in Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru and Brazil. They say it’s time to even the playing field. Many young people have wanted to fight these imperialist troops where they are active against the people of these colonial US Viceroyalties and now they are being encouraged to do so by organizers located in Brazil. The issue is so alive in South America that the newest Bond film Quantum of Solace has the US conspiracy against Bolivia and Latin America as the centerpiece of its plot and is, thus, according to our sources, playing to packed houses in the effected countries.
Most importantly, and the last straw, sources say, was the imperialist insertion of combat troops into Ayacucho, Peru, last year. These previously reliable sources say youth from around the world including our own country are anxious to fight these imperialist troops in an effective way and in so doing to counterbalance the Gringo reinforced armed forces of the social fascist dictatorship of the traitor and mass-murderer Alan Garcia.
Formed in Brazil, and now establishing permanent frontier beachheads in the bordering territory of these two captive nations, sources say, the IB after intensive successful engagement of the fascist enemy troops has blasted open permanent supply and re-supply routes, by land and air, into the liberated territories of Peru.
The IB was formed in Brazil because it is politically and geographically the most practical base from which to operate support for the National Liberation armies in Peru and Colombia. As I write I am told the IB has linked-up with the armed forces of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP SLdeCM) under Professor Quispe. The situation with regard to Colombia is more complex and forces are being introduced through several extra-Brazilian routes as well as directly via Tabatinga (Brazil) and Leticia (Colombia)
Sources say now is the time. They say this force has been organizing for over a year, as a response to the Gringo escalation of the civil conflicts in these two countries. It is claimed they will fight until victory is achieved for the National Liberation armies in both these Gringo subjugated countries.
You may wish to read some of the accounts I have read about how Stalin filtered forces to the Republic of Spain during its Civil War 1936 – 1939. (Fundamentals of Historical Materialism, Bolshevism 2009) Fidel similarly sent Cuban Army fighters to save Angola when invaded by US secret troops and the then South African puppet army. I spoke with some of the veterans when I was in Cuba and they told me how they had been sent quietly, in civilian clothes, by air and reassembled in Luanda with Soviet equipment after which they gave the gringo sponsored invaders an ass-whipping they have not yet forgotten. This force was a big help in defeating US imperialism’s front organizations and in making the contemporary liberation of Black Africa from US imperialism a permanent reality in the form of Free Africa.
Our sources say today, to join the internationalist force; volunteer fighters make their way to Brazil, unarmed, in civilian clothes, and are taken to the forward base of operations. Since this website is monitored by the Gringo secret police agencies we (the Communist Foundation Party USA – CPF USA) (http://www.communistfoundationpartyusa.org) can do little here except report ongoing IB activities.
Recruiters have asked for volunteers of whatever sex between the ages of 18 and 38. It is very important to them that you not lie about your age in order to get into this force. I know from personal experience that young men and women do this as a matter of course when joining armies and navies everywhere in the world but the IB cannot have that. Sources say potential volunteers should understand this is neither a babysitting operation nor one in which the most a person has to give is not expected of him and her – namely your lives. Don’t worry 18 will come before you know it. You can die then. –And, you have a good chance of dying in combat – our side lost 30,000 men from the 60,000 sent to fight the fascist Francisco Franco, and the IB cannot expect to lose any fewer in this struggle. (The Abraham Lincoln Battalion of North Americans lost 50% of its fighters overall, and almost all of them from time to time in specific battles!) So this may well be the most important life-and-death decision you will ever have to make.
Sources say the IB leaders are asking for medical personnel as well as trained fighters in the use of explosives, heavy machine guns and BAR’s as well as small arms instructors and tactical unit command experienced fighters. Pilots for the Internationalist Air Force are wanted now and especially pilots of small aircraft, preferably with experience in the Far North of North America. The IB is anticipating major unit regular combat soon and accordingly is asking for experienced pilots of fighter-bomber, propeller-driven, high-performance aircraft to support ground operations now, and to go directly at and destroy the fascist air force, at its home bases and in the air, in the not-too-distant future. Prior military experience is extremely important and those with it should consider they will be among the first directed to the receiving depots
Sources point out those who do make it back will be well trained psychologically as well as practically to take on the US imperialist chieftains at home when civil war comes, which may be inevitable.
Information provided indicates there are several routes to the recruiters on the internet where volunteers are asked to submit a resume or C.V. and relevant contact information and wait until contacted. A recruiter told this reporter people are urged not to submit such data unless they are ready to move now and fight soon.
Sources remind us the Gringo secret police will try to sabotage the internet route. It may become necessary for other intermediaries working for them to find their way to volunteers. –And potential volunteers have other routes to the IB. From my own experience I know the Gringo Embassy in Lima is quite capable of setting up phony websites so volunteers will have to be careful and exercise discretion. They (the gringo embassy in Lima) were the ones who produced the phony peace letters supposedly from Abimael Guzman and attempted to do the same to me not so long ago at the website Living in Peru.
Sources claim the way in which the IB opened permanent supply routes to the Rebel army, during April of this year in Peru, has struck terror into the hearts of the fascist regime in Lima and its soldiers. They claim to have some of the best people and best trained soldiers and sailors and airmen from everywhere in the world. These fighters, they say, have proven they have no illusions about the enemy.
Jason W. Smith, Los Angeles
Reporting for the Daily Worker from combined sources
June 13, 2009
# CB says :
June 27, 2009 [ 9:19 ]
I think you need to stop watching TV Jason and join the real world. The only revolution that Peru needs is through the education system. Education, Education and Education is the real power of the people.
Grow up and stop watching your cable TV. Its hard to believe people can write such crap today. I had close friends that were in the SADF fighting in Angola. You know noughing of this world.
# jb says :
June 27, 2009 [ 10:12 ]
Pass the bong Jason. We all need a hit off of what your're smoking.
# More nonsense says :
June 27, 2009 [ 10:40 ]
Sitting comfortably in L.A. and sitting in his Lazy Boy barkalounger, Jason takes another hit and switches channels to catch a re-run of Star Trek.......
# G I Joe says :
June 27, 2009 [ 14:35 ]
why do they print this in gringo english if they are not trying to recute gringos ???
the cause must need some moneky trainers
GI Joe with Kung Fu Gripp
# c.schmidt says :
June 27, 2009 [ 15:10 ]
I was wondering- were are all these person who usually post their comments under current events in LIP.For the country I wish politics with efficiency, transparency and, modern institutions which work according to int. developed standard, justice, job giving investment in within respect of environment, more education, peace on the streets, efficient anti corruption politics and that in the future international headlines about Peru are only good. I hope most for more freedom of expression (which lately was very much criticized my Media Watch Dog) - and hope very much that Peru becomes soon a modern developed democratic society were people feel the most vital sign of this model which seems do be historically proven the best. Freedom in within more Justice.
# Riverice7 says :
June 27, 2009 [ 20:36 ]
The mining companies and the government need to quickly start building schools,hospitals,clinics and roads, so that the people of Cusco can transport their farming goods to market quickly and efficiently and all of these communist ideas and the 'reds' can be silent and slowly fade.
# Mike Henderson says :
June 27, 2009 [ 21:31 ]
# Chester says :
June 28, 2009 [ 1:08 ]
Support indigenous people bravely protesting Peru government's give-away of their rainforest homes
Resource Boom in Peru's Amazon Threatens Indigenous Peoples' Livelihoods and Their Rainforest Homes
Action Alert: Resource Boom in Peru's Amazon Threatens Indigenous Peoples' Livelihoods and Their Rainforest HomesSupport tens of thousands of indigenous people bravely protesting Peru government's give-away of their rainforest homes to oil, mining and logging industry without their approval; insist peaceful protests are not met with violence by President Alan Garcia's government, and that the focus for Amazonian development be upon benefiting from standing trees and intact rainforest ecosystems.
By Rainforest Portal, a project of Ecological Internet - May 27, 2009
In partnership with Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald)
NOTE: This is a protest, not a petition, sending emails to many real decision makers on matters vital to the Earth.
Caption: Awajun indigenous protesters in Bagua, northern Peru, where many were wounded and taken to hospitals on May 10 after armed police attacked their non-violent blockade of the Corral Quemado Bridge (photo courtesy of Global Response and Thomas Quirynen)
Indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon are protesting investment laws passed under a free-trade pact with the United States and against concessions granted to foreign energy companies. Some 30,000 indigenous people have blockaded roads, rivers and railways to demand repeal of new laws that allow oil and mining companies to enter indigenous territories without seeking consent or even any consultation. Indigenous communities complain that some 70% of Peruvian Amazon territory is now leased for oil and gas exploration, putting at risk their own lives and the biodiversity of the Amazon.
Protestors have already shut down Peru's state energy company's crude oil pipeline. Peru's President Alan Garcia has said that "small groups" must not stand in the way of "development" of the Amazon. On May 9th, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency for 60 days and sent in the military and special police to violently suppress the non-violent protests and protect largely overseas corporate interests. There have been several incidents of unprovoked violence against indigenous demonstrators.
The Peruvian rainforest is the biggest stretch of Amazon outside Brazil. As the Earth's largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon plays a critical role in safeguarding global climate. Scientists estimate Peru is home to some 25,000 plant species, 10 % of the world total, and to 1,816 bird species. But this crucial global ecosystem has been threatened in recent decades by the industrial extraction of natural resources. More than 70% of the Peruvian Amazon is now under some sort of foreign resource concession. Between 2002 and 2007, mining grew more than 70 percent. Last year some 4,200 timber permits were granted to local communities, but tons of cedar and mahogany ended up being sold abroad. The new forestry law (Decree 1090), which had been deemed unconstitutional (a previous Ecological Internet campaign success) is again being debated in the Peruvian Congress.
Alberto Pizango, head of the indigenous Amazonian organisation, AIDESEP, said their ancestral territories were being handed over to multinational companies without consultation, and talks with the government had broken down. The government has responded by declaring a state of emergency in the central regions of Loreto, Amazonas, Ucayali and Cuzco, paving the way for military control of these areas. Some fear a harsh crack down in indigenous groups in these regions. Protesters had responded that they would begin an insurgency to defend their rights, a threat later withdrawn. Please add your voice in solidarity with the tens of thousands of indigenous people and their international supporters mobilizing to protect the Peruvian Amazon. Send a letter today to the Garcia Administration demanding respect for the constitutionally guaranteed rights of indigenous peoples, and Amazon development based upon standing forests. The time period for fulfilling this pledge has ended.
# R Hunter says :
June 28, 2009 [ 1:11 ]
No Oil for Genocide: Indigenous Activists in Peru Clash With Government Over U.S. Free Trade Deal
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Meg White
Depending upon who you listen to, there is either a populist uprising or a coordinated domestic terrorism onslaught that has been ongoing in Peru for the past month or so. The only thing clear from photos and videos leaking out of the country is that tensions are running high and people are killing each other.
After weeks of indigenous people blocking a road and waterway via peaceful protest, Peruvian President Alan Garcia announced he was fed up with the protesters, who were trying to get the government to rescind new laws expanding the rights of energy companies to exploit indigenous lands and forested areas. Garcia ordered his ministers to end the blockade, which forced the closing of the state- owned oil pipeline, PetroPeru.
At least one human rights group is accusing the Peruvian government of "atrocities." Gregor MacLennan of Amazon Watch is in the area gathering testimony from journalists and people involved in the protest, and issued this statement:
All eyewitness testimonies say that Special Forces opened fire on peaceful and unarmed demonstrators including from helicopters, killing and wounding dozens in an orchestrated attempt to open the roads. It seems that the police had come with orders to shoot. This was not a clash, but a coordinated police raid with police firing on protesters from both sides of their blockade.
Of course, this is not the story one gets from the wires. The origin of media misinformation is evident in the dateline; it is hard for journalists to get to Bagua due to both the location and 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfews, so they're reporting from the capital city or even nearby Colombia.
Further, the stories told by police and indigenous groups don't match up. So, as is common in the corporate media, reports tend to reflect the statements of so-called authorities and not those of indigenous leaders and other eyewitnesses. Currently it appears that more than 50 people have been killed in the conflict; around 30 protesters and 23 police officers, according to the respective sides of the conflict. More than 150 people have been injured in the conflict and dozens are in police custody.
Reporting is further complicated by the fact that there are several different protests, blockades, and face-offs happening across the country. The main violence erupted at the PetroPeru pipeline, but conflicts also occurred elsewhere, at blockaded roads and an airport used by an Argentinian energy company.
An unrelated attack by remnants of the Shining Path rebel group, killing one and injuring four, made it into this Reuters story on the Peruvian unrest. The Garcia government has been criticized by Amazon Watch for its history of drawing parallels from today's protesters to the Shining Path movement, a violent communist group active in the country in the 1980s and 1990s, but which is now more of a drug cartel than any political movement.
There is loaded language on both sides, with the government accusing the protesters of insurgency and the indigenous protesters accusing the government of genocide.
In Lima on Friday, indigenous leader Alberto Pizango told journalists he put the blame squarely in the president's court, saying, "I hold the government of President Alan Garcia responsible for ordering the genocide." Pizango has since gone into hiding due to several arrest warrants accusing the organizer of sedition, homicide, and other acts. His replacement, Champion Nonimgo, asked that the Organization of American States and others look into the violence.
The Peruvian government has given credence to indigenous people's claims of genocide via racist language employed by President Garcia. From a press release issued by Amazon Watch Monday:
The Amazonian indigenous peoples' mobilizations have been peaceful, locally coordinated, and extremely well organized for nearly two months. Yet Garcia insists on calling them terrorist acts and anti-democratic. Garcia has even gone so far as to describe the indigenous mobilizations as "savage and barbaric." Garcia has made his discrimination explicit, saying directly that the Amazonian indigenous people are not first-class citizens.
"These people don't have crowns," Garcia said about the protesters. "These people aren't first-class citizens who can say -- 400,000 natives to 28 million Peruvians -- 'You don't have the right to be here.' No way. That is a huge error."
When Garcia accuses the uprising of having foreign roots, he is alluding to foreign agitators such as Venezuelan leftists. But the indigenous groups have concrete outside forces, such as the United States, upon which they lay blame for the controversial policies they are protesting.
The protests themselves have been going on for many weeks and are in response to changes made during the negotiation and signing of a Peru-U.S. free trade pact. The legal changes "open communal jungle lands and water resources to oil drilling, logging, mining and large-scale farming" according to The Associated Press.
The free trade agreement was so contentious that, though details were finalized between Peru and the Bush Administration years ago, it was not signed by President Bush until mere days before his handing over the White House to President Obama.
The agreement raised environmental, labor, and human rights concerns. The head of the indigenous caucus of Peru's congress predicted the new pact would allow for the deforestation of 70 percent of the Amazon. Others have said that the open market between nations will put Peruvian farmers out of business while at the same time driving up prices for necessities such as medicine for Peru's poor.
Multinational corporations and wealthy citizens living in urban Peru have benefited from Garcia's emphasis on free markets and foreign investment, according to his critics. And he has plenty of critics; his approval rating is around 30 percent.
This protester, speaking in front of a crowd in Lima, posits that a popular referendum on the Garcia presidency would kick the current administration to the curb. Such language relates to the frustration of Peruvians who were left out of the discussion of when, how and to whom the riches of the country's rainforest should be opened. The debate is further complicated by indigenous land rights, which favor communal ownership.
Some analysts believe Garcia will try to circumvent judgment by reshuffling his cabinet instead of taking concrete action that would do more to solve the underlying problem of inequity, but would put his foreign and business relations at risk.
The Peruvian congress had already ruled the new laws unconstitutional, but they hadn't quite gotten to the point of invalidating them before President Garcia stepped in. A congressional attempt last week to revisit the new laws opening up the Amazon to exploitation was blocked by the executive branch, setting off this weekend's bloody conflict.
The Peruvian government declared a 60-day state of emergency on May 8, suspending constitutional guarantees as a way to quell the unrest. But indigenous organizers accuse police of initiating the bloodshed. They insist citizens did not have advanced weaponry and that the authorities opened fire on the protesters, who were armed symbolically with spears. They also accuse police of burning and dumping dead protesters' bodies to obscure the death count.
Local journalists have posted on the Internet pictures and accounts of snipers shooting at indigenous protesters and of police beating and killing men, women and children. Amazon Watch cited in their press release Monday several sources reporting on police officers disposing of protesters' bodies as well as detaining hundreds more in unknown locations, some of whom have been injured.
Over the past few weeks, most of the coverage of the situation in Peru has concentrated on the shutdowns of oil pipelines and associated resource shortages.
At his blog Peruanista, Carlos Quiroz writes an analysis of major media reports on the clash as of Saturday, noting almost all are skewed toward a positive portrayal of government and police forces.
As mentioned earlier, this is a tough story to cover. But there's another important reason we're not hearing more about this issue. It has something to do with the paltry coverage given to Alaskan Natives who are becoming our country's first climate refugees.
In order to continue at our current levels of consumption, something has to give. First, we compromise natural environments. Plants and animals are the first to suffer blows, and have silently been taking the heat for decades at the very least. But the burden of environmental degredation has been increasingly shifting to human populations, and the first people to feel the pain are almost always poor and quite often indigenous.
It may not be entirely shocking that these are the people who pay first, but it is ironic. The communities that are most likely to have a symbiotic relationship with nature that respects the power and fragility of mother earth are unfairly impacted by the environmental policies of major world powers that lack such respect.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
# Simon Forester says :
June 28, 2009 [ 1:14 ]
Human Rights Advocates Demand Justice for Indigenous Victims of Government Massacre in Peru; Corporations, U.S. Held Accountable.
BOSTON/Bay Village - In response to the recent slaughter of indigenous activists who had been blocking highways in protest of recent government decrees that would have opened the Amazon rainforest to oil and mining companies - threatening their way of life - 25 human rights advocates from several local non-governmental organizations held a rally outside the Peruvian Consulate on Wednesday. At least 34 people were killed by elements of the Peruvian military on June 5 at blockades near the town of Bagua, Peru. Some sources indicate that many more were killed and the military threw their bodies into a nearby river to dispose of the evidence.
The advocates demanded justice for the families of the slain activists and the 400,000 indigenous people affected by the decrees. They also implicated the U.S. government and U.S.-based corporations in the growing scandal that threatens to topple the government of Peruvian President Alan García, and pointed out the environmental disaster that could result if the corporations are allowed to further exploit the resources of the Amazon basin.
Adrienne from the Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement (BAAM) explained, "¡La selva no se vende! ¡El pueblo la defiende! The U.S. is complicit in the murder and disappearances of indigenous people in Peru. Through so-called 'free trade agreements,' U.S. government and industry team up to steal, extract, and exploit the resources of land outside their jurisdiction. Aside from the fact that this is a completely unethical and unsustainable way to run a country, by devastating land and ecosystems, they devastate the people who live and rely on those ecosystems and that land. The dead and disappeared Indigenous people of Peru are only the latest casualties of U.S. free trade agreements."
The event began with representatives of the local organizations entering the Consulate and delivering a letter which they asked the staff to forward to President García.
The letter made the following demands
1. Immediately suspend violent repression of indigenous protests and the State of Emergency and allow AIDESEP (Asociacion Interetnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana – Inter-ethnic association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle) to remain as a valid representative of indigenous interests in the conflict;
2. Repeal the series of contested Decrees passed when Congress offered fast track authority to create laws facilitating the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. These laws allow oil, logging, and agricultural corporations easy entry into indigenous territories;
3. Initiate an impartial investigation into the events of June 5 at the Devil's Curve (Curva del Diablo) near Bagua Chica;
4. Immediately drop all judicial proceedings against indigenous leaders to facilitate a good faith process of dialogue with indigenous peoples to resolve this conflict;
5. Uphold the constitutionally guaranteed rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination, to their ancestral territories, and to prior consultation and consent over any policies and activities that affect them;
6. Because the killings and the attacks to the civilian indigenous population was carried out by official forces of the state, financial reparation must be awarded to all victims of this tragic attack;
7. Assume personal responsibility for the deaths of civilians and police;
8. As an act of dignity and to promote forgiveness and reconciliation, resign from your office as President of Peru.
It was signed by the following organizations: Massachusetts Global Action, American Friends Service Committee - Project Voice, Latinos for Social Change, Honduran Project/Proyecto Hondureno, Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement, Guatemalan Solidarity Committee of Boston, International Action Committee (Boston), Chelsea Uniting Against the War / Chelsea Uniendose Contra la Guerra, Centro Presente, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. Mass. Chapter, Rising Tide Boston, Rising Tide North America, Boston May Day Committee. The rally continued for over an hour after the letter was delivered. There was no police presence in evidence and no arrests.
When asked if the advocates were planning further activities , Adrienne said, "As for keeping up pressure against the powers that perpetuate and necessitate this devastation, we won't stop until they do."
The Peruvian Congress overturned the two decrees that led to the blockades on Thursday, but indigenous organizations may hold more protests over several other related decrees that were put into effect without consulting them.
The Peruvian Consulate of Boston did not respond to a request for comment from Open Media Boston.
# Rex Harrison says :
June 28, 2009 [ 1:59 ]
Very interesting links on Perus Communist Party
Partido Communista Del Peru.
# Nora says :
June 28, 2009 [ 4:36 ]
Since the 1950's the story has been the same. The foreign investors take the money and resources and leave without doing any improvements .This will be so simple to resolve if Peruvian gov. will rent the land for Millions of $$ for a certain period of time. Now.. if Peru recognizes the Amazon indigeous communities ( like they should) they should get 50% of the rent, right? The problem is that the jungle is the biggest departamento with lack of organization making them more vulnerable to terrorist groups and organized drug lords (whom ..most of the time hide under the umbrella of commmunist parties ,which.. we already know it doesn't work..example China, biggest imperialist country in Asia) but thanks to the internet these indigenous communities have the support of international organizations to make sure that their rights are not violated. The resources in the Amazon are tremendous and under the right leader should be enough to feed the entire peruvian population , all they need is people ready to work and harvest of course they must change the "pipeline for a pave road" but not to go to the ocean but instead to go to other departamentos first.
# Jason W. Smith, Ph.D. says :
June 28, 2009 [ 11:37 ]
Havana. June 25, 2009
Historic victory for Peruvian
THE selfless struggle of the original peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, in the face of a ferocious governmental massacre that left an estimated 30-plus dead, dozens of injured and unknown total of disappeared, has been crowned – at least temporarily – by the success shown by the indigenous organizations and the social and labor movements in their mobilizing to demand respect for their rights from the Alan García neoliberal regime.
Finally, the Peruvian Congress rescinded the laws linked to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States and which provoked the grave episodes of repression and crime by the military forces against the indigenous communities in Bagua; a crisis that shook the government of Alan García and even prompted the resignation of Yehudi Simón, president of the Council of Ministers; and the imminent standing down of Mercedes Cabanillas, the questioned minister of the interior.
On the political side, it has been a shameful defeat for the governing APRA Party which was involved in the massacre, and has dashed its vain attempts to present itself as a popular force or within the so-called social democratic or center-left current, with the real essence of those leading it being exposed. Within the APRA itself, mid-level leaders are not concealing their displeasure at the government’s repressive response in its eagerness to meet its commitments to the United States, while others, more attached to the APRA’s founding doctrines, are recalling their eroded and distant anti-imperialism, replaced by an obsequious neoliberalism and the alliance with Washington.
The opportune questions are: could the massacre and its consequences have been avoided if, from the beginning and as deputies from the Peruvian Nationalist Party repeatedly proposed in Parliament, the Congress had accepted the just demands of the indigenous groups and immediately repealed the abovementioned laws?
Why did the Alan García government opt to make a show of force and drown the protests in bloodshed, in the vain illusion that, in this savage way, it could quell the rebellion and end the peaceful acts of civil disobedience in response to the imposed legislation?
Nevertheless, it is not all over yet. Expressing thanks for the support given from all over the country and saluting the bravery of the original peoples who challenged the brutal repression unarmed, Daysi Zapata, vice president of the Inter-Ethnic Association on Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP) – its president, Alberto Pizango was forced to seek political asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy in Lima – has now demanded the repeal of a further seven laws contested by the Amazonian movement, as well as an end to the persecution unleashed on national and regional leaders of AIDESEP.
The indigenous leader also demanded an end of the state of emergency and curfew in the Bagua region, where the resistance began on June 5, given that otherwise the blocking of highways could persist and the atmosphere of confrontation and tension prevailing throughout the area of conflict will continue.
What has taken place in the Peruvian jungle is no more than a reflection of the persistent action of the current government in defense of the United States and transnational companies within the framework of the Peru-U.S. FTA, whose dictates it is seeking to impose through force, accompanied by a desperate cry of submission and a call for improved "aid" on the part of a regime that is trying to erect itself the bulwark of neoliberalism. It is doing that in the midst of the integrationist, solidarity and unitary will of its neighbors (Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia) with which its shares not only borders but many common ethnicities on either side, and which is an additional concern for this government, the fruit of a desperate union between the APRA, Fujimori supporters and the ultra-right National Unity.
There is a new political map in Latin America and the Caribbean, this is an evident fact. And this reality, which cannot be unknown, is contributing to make possible other realities, such as this resounding blow that the original peoples of the Peruvian rainforests have just delivered to the FTA, U.S. imperialism and its Lima deputy.
# John Cooper says :
June 28, 2009 [ 16:03 ]
# Martin Gold says :
June 28, 2009 [ 16:08 ]
By Mario A. Flores
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
LIMA, Peru – Caught between a rock-and-a-hard-place, President Alan Garcia’s latest attempt to promote growth by implementing market-oriented reforms to stave off economic downturn has left scores of dead and injured, and his party and government weak.
Garcia embraced a development model that links Peru’s economic future to the growth of the extractive industries in the Amazon, despite opposition from civil society.
In an article published two years ago, Garcia extolled the wealth in the Amazon region and put forth his intent to grant development rights that would lead to the exploitation of large swaths of land there. “There is no long-term, large-scale investment appeal in small parcels,” he said.
Earlier this year, pursuant to special powers Garcia was granted in order to implement the Peru-U.S. free trade agreement that went into effect in February, the government passed a series of laws that opened the door to the privatization of jungle lands and water resources for oil-drilling, logging, mining and large-scale farming.
But indigenous peoples complained that they were not consulted on the laws. Amazon natives declared an "insurgency" against Peru's government and began blocking roads, waterways and the oil pipeline in April. They claimed the new laws made it easier for foreign companies to take away their communal lands. The protests led to violent confrontations with law enforcement.
Bowing to mounting pressure, Garcia’s government announced this week that it will ask Congress to repeal two of the laws that are at the heart of the more than two months of well-organized, widespread protests by Amazon Indians.
The protesters have now begun to disband but the price Garcia has paid is high.
Official reports place the number of police deaths at twenty five as a result of the violence in Bagua earlier this month. Not even during the Shining Path era did the police suffer so many losses in one incident. The figures also show there are ten confirmed civilian deaths so far although NGOs place the number at much higher. In addition, at least 150 people have been injured during the confrontations.
Besides scores of deaths and injured and the government’s surrender to the native peoples demands, there are also political casualties.
A significant blow to Garcia’s cabinet is Prime Minister Yehude Simon’s announcement that he plans to resign as soon as peace returns. The announcement comes at the heels of the resignation by the Minister of the Interior, Mercedes Cabanillas, who was viewed as the ruling party’s presidential candidate in the 2011 elections.
Now Garcia has not only to rebuild his cabinet but he needs to reinstate faith in his government as well. This at a time when the National Statistics and Informatics Institute (INEI) reported this week that the country’s economy has contracted for the first time in eight years.
“The economy goes through cycles and it is now obviously in a downturn,” INEI Director Renan Quispe said.
Upcoming poll results will show just how much Garcia has suffered as a result of this crisis. His popularity had been recently on the upswing and his approval ratings had reached close to forty percent.
The opposition has clearly come out stronger from the incidents even as the administration blames its leader, Ollanta Humala, for the well-orchestrated protests. Humala ran for president in 2006 but lost in a runoff to Alan Garcia.
The government claims that Humala and the protesters received help from other nations, including Bolivia. Peru’s Secretary of State, Jose Antonio Garcia, has accused Bolivian President Evo Morales of attempting to destabilize Peru.
Former president Alejandro Toledo has already announced he is considering running for the next presidential elections, adding to Peru's increasingly turbid political environment.
# Lester Hopkins says :
June 28, 2009 [ 16:10 ]
U. S. Imperialism, Hands Off Latin America
November 9, 2004
Below we print part of a speech given by Michael Thorburn, a representative of the Workers Party, U.S.A., at a Chicago-area meeting organized by the Peace Agenda Forum on October 21, 2004. For the purposes of publication, the speech has been edited by the author.
Very simply, the aim of my speech is to encourage everyone here to work to make sure that the slogan: "U.S., Hands Off Latin America!"
Is a central part of the peace movement and the political agenda of the American people.
This issue is fundamental because, as the saying goes, "no nation which oppresses another can be free." Thus, our Party - the Workers Party - holds that it is the elementary responsibility of every person who genuinely stands for democracy and the rights of humanity to resolutely oppose the national oppression and military intervention imposed on other countries by our "own government."
And everyone knows that for more than 100 years, the U.S. government and the U.S. monopoly capitalist class has considered Latin America their "backyard" and imposed colonialism and neocolonialism on the peoples.
Today, U.S. imperialism is intensifying its stranglehold over Latin America as part of its so-called "war on terrorism." Historically, Latin America is the foundation of the U.S. empire. And as U.S. imperialism fights to extend this empire - to create a unipolar world with itself as the "sole superpower" - it is determined to fortify its strategic base.
- Thus, we see that in February of this year, thousands of U.S. marines invaded Haiti, kidnapped the elected President and began restoring open U.S. colonial rule.
- We see the U.S. branding the Colombian people as "terrorists" and stepping up its direct military intervention in a counter-insurgency war which aims at suppressing Colombia's struggle for independence, democracy and social and economic progress. We see U.S. imperialism using "Plan Colombia" to stretch its military presence and activities throughout the Andes region, militarizing Ecuador and Peru, threatening Venezuela and Bolivia, etc.
- We see the U.S. government tightening its blockade - its war - against Cuba and publicly publishing a blueprint for military intervention and the reimposition of U.S. colonialism in Cuba.
- We see the U.S. government - through the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the highest officials of the government - carrying out a destabilization campaign against the elected, constitutional government of Venezuela.
- We see U.S. capitalism intensifying its economic penetration of the continent, dictating austerity budgets and privatization programs to various governments, pressuring countries to accept such treaties as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the Andes Free Trade Agreement, the Free Trade Area of the Americas and various bilateral treaties which aim at virtual U.S. annexation of Latin America.
History of U.S. Intervention
Before going more deeply into some of these sharpening immediate struggles, I want to review some of the background of U.S. intervention in Latin America. This history helps us see where present-day problems come from, helps us see that the super-exploitation and war against the peoples of Latin America is built into the very foundations of present-day U.S. capitalist-imperialism and that for more than 100 years this colonialism has been the bipartisan program of both the Democratic and Republican parties.
From the very founding of the U.S. republic, U.S. capitalism expressed an appetite for Latin America. For example, by proclaiming the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the U.S. government declared that the entire Western Hemisphere was its sphere of influence and warned European powers to stay out.
But in its early days, U.S. capitalism, despite its appetite, did not have the power to project itself too far. This changed around the turn of the 20th century as the era of monopoly capitalism and imperialism began.
U.S. capitalism emerged as a major imperialist power by waging the so-called "Spanish-American War," which really was a war waged by the U. S. government against the peoples of Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines who were already fighting for their independence from Spain. Through this war, the U.S. imposed direct colonial rule on Puerto Rico and Cuba (as well as the Philippines), marking the beginning of the wholesale export of U.S. capital and U.S. marines to Latin America - the beginning of U.S. economic and, to a large extent, territorial domination of the continent.
This colonial project was codified by President Theodore Roosevelt in his famous "Roosevelt corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine which asserted U.S. imperialism's intention to intervene in the internal affairs of Latin American countries to control their economic and political systems.
Roosevelt's doctrine reads, in part:
"Any country whose people conduct themselves well, can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the U.S. Chronic wrong-going or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, ... require intervention by some civilized nations, and in the western hemisphere the adherence of the U.S. to the Monroe Doctrine may force the U.S... to the exercise of an international [police] power."
These early years of "gunboat diplomacy" are well described by a U.S. General - Smedley Butler, who writes in his memoirs: "I spent 33 years and four months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force - the marine corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to major-general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a highclass muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism .... Thus I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank to collect revenues in . . . I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916.
I helped make Honduras "right" For American fruit companies in 1903." (quoted from Eduardo Galeano, "Open Veins of Latin America," 1971).
In fact, over the years, U.S. government has waged hundreds of wars and military interventions against the peoples of Latin America and these wars have been waged by every administration, Democratic and Republican.
A partial list of some of the major U.S. wars since the 1950's includes:
- in 1954 CIA-trained U.S. troops invaded Guatemala to carry out a coup against the Arbenz government and reverse the country's agrarian reform which went against the economic interests of United Fruit;
- in 1959 the U.S. began widescale covert intervention against Cuba after the revolutionary government undertook land reform and the nationalization of certain U.S.-owned enterprises. Over the years, U. S. intervention has resulted in the murder of hundreds of Cuban activists, workers, peasants, and students by U.S. covert operatives.
In 1961 the U.S. launched the "Bay of Pigs" invasion, and later Kennedy threatened Cuba with nuclear war, etc.;
- in 1965, some 50,000 U.S. troops invaded the Dominican Republic;
- in 1973 the CIA-organized a coup in Chile which overthrow the elected government and resulted in the murder, imprisonment and exiling of tens of thousands of Chileans;
- in the late 1970's and throughout the 1980's, U.S. advisers on the ground directed the counter-insurgency war in El Salvador which resulted in 80,000 killed and 1.5 million Salvadorans exiled.
- in the 1980's, the CIA directed the "contra war" against Nicaragua which claimed the lives of 30,000 people;
- the 1983 invasion of Grenada by 30,000 troops in 1983;
- in 1985 invasion of Panama.
In sum, for more than 100 years, U.S. imperialism has imposed a series of fascist, military regimes on the peoples in Latin America and has been in a permanent state of war against the continent.
Just as today the U.S. government, in its war against Iraq, can rely only on doublespeak to advertise its aggression as "defense of democracy," to label its destruction and devastation of Iraq as "preventing chaos," etc., so too all the war and fascism imposed on Latin America by U.S. imperialism has been carried out in the name of "freedom" and "democracy."
At the time of the Monroe Doctrine, Henry Clay, Secretary of State, justified U.S. imperial ambitions by calling for "a human freedom league encompassing all nations from Hudson Bay to Cape Horn."
The U.S. wars against the Puerto Rican and Cuban people were waged in the name of "bringing freedom and civilization" to the people.
The invasions of Guatemala and Grenada were carried out in the name of "restoring democracy." The contras mercenaries and the paramilitary death squads in El Salvador, Colombia and elsewhere are called "freedom fighters" by the leaders of the U.S. government.
The 1965 invasion of the Dominican Republic like the ongoing occupation of Haiti are justified as a means to "prevent chaos and anarchy."
The U.S. blockade of Cuba and its plan for armed intervention are given such names as the "Cuban Democracy Act" and "Assistance for a Free Cuba." The U.S. government works to destabilize the elected government in Venezuela by branding President Chavez as a "dictator."
The truth is that the path to democracy for peoples in Latin America is and can only be the path of struggle against U.S. imperialism - against its subversion, aggression, and support for internal reactionary regimes.
For the American people, a very touchstone of our commitment to genuine democracy is resolute, uncompromising struggle against any and all interference by the U.S. capitalist-imperialist government in Latin America. The touchstone of genuine American democracy, a vital part of opposition to the colonialism, racism and war program of "our own" government is to struggle to get U.S. imperialism out of Latin America, lock, stock and barrel!
Of course, behind all this military intervention are the economic interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.
Everyone knows that in Latin America whole countries have been turned into plantations - banana plantations, coffee plantations, sugar plantations, rubber plantations, etc. - owned by U.S. agri-businesses.
The fertile soil of Latin America has not been used to feed its people but turned into profits for the U.S. capitalists. Thus for example El Salvador has lost its self-sufficiency in food as its land has been used to grow and export coffee for the U.S. capitalists. And along with pillaging the land, U.S. imperialism - in alliance with the local oligarchy and fascist regimes - expropriated, by force of arms, the land of the peasants, abolished their communal and other indigenous ownership systems, and deprived millions of people of their livelihood. This same story, repeated in different forms all across the continent, is one of the root causes of today's war in the Colombian countryside, where for 100 years peasants have been fighting to keep their land and livelihood from armed expropriation by landlords in alliance with U.S. imperialism.
So too the mineral wealth of the soil, the patrimony of the peoples, has literally been drained and carted out of Latin America. Just as the conquistadors looted the gold of the indigenous peoples, the U. S. capitalists have grabbed billions of dollars in wealth by taking the copper of Chile, the tin of Bolivia, the oil of Venezuela and Mexico, the bauxite of Haiti, etc., etc.
While grabbing the raw materials and mineral wealth, the U.S. multinational corporations have set up branch plants across Latin America in order to exploit the working class. Under the thumb of U. S.-imposed governments, Latin American workers are super-exploited and often prevented from exercising such elementary rights as the right to unionize. Today, for example, after U.S. imperialism drained Haiti of its huge bauxite reserves, robbing the national patrimony of the people, 150 U.S. companies have set up shop in the country, paying workers as little as $1.60/day.
During the last several years, under the signboard of "neo-liberal economics," U.S. imperialism has been intensifying its economic penetration and superexploitation of Latin America. Through military, economic and political pressure, through bilateral and multilateral such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, etc., through the IMF and other international financial institutions, imperialism is directly dictating the budget of Latin American countries, forcing the privatization of state-owned industries, grabbing control of virtually the entire economic infrastructure. The goal if the virtual annexation of the continent by U.S. capital.
By 2001, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean owned $787 billion to U.S. and international bankers and were paying more than $150 billion/year in debt service (see U.S Commerce Department's "Survey of Current Business," September 2002).
This huge debt in turn is used by imperialism as a lever to further open up the economies of Latin America to imperialist penetration and take-over.
For example, from 1982 to early the 1990's Mexico was forced to privatize 886 state enterprises out of a total of 1,155 with U.S. monopolies gaining control over telecommunications, airlines, banking, mining, steel and other sectors. Similarly in Chile, the Pinochet regime (installed through a CIA coup) privatized 160 state corporations, 16 banks and thousands of mines and agricultural enterprises from 1975 through 1989.
Today, U.S. imperialism is demanding that literally all the wealth and labor of Latin America be put at its disposal. Various U. S.-dictated treaties are turning even the water resources over to U.S. multinational corporations and forbidding Latin American governments from protecting even such sectors as health care, education, or the national forests from foreign ownership. U.S. imperialism aims at nothing less than the virtual annexation of the continent.
As U.S. imperialism spreads its net across Latin America, the apologists for capitalism, portray this process as the road to "economic opportunity, freedom and development."
But, this is just economic doublespeak. The only "freedom" aimed at is the "freedom" of the U.S. monopolies to rob the wealth and exploit the peoples.
Why is it that Latin America remains economically underdeveloped and so many of the people live in poverty and hardship? The continent has fabulously rich soil and vast mineral wealth. And only the racist filth of imperialism could claim that the people don't work and create new values.
The real problem is precisely that the values created by the labor of the people leaves their countries and goes to Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to fill the pockets of the U.S. capitalists. The labor of the people does not go to insure their well-being or the economic independence and development of the Latin American countries, it is, instead, poured into the foundations of U.S. imperialism's empire.
So just as the path to genuine democracy in Latin America can only be the path of struggle against U.S. intervention, so too, the path of economic development and social progress can only be the path of struggle against the exploiting, colonial relations imposed on Latin America by U.S. capitalist-imperialism. This is the path of cancelling the debt, the path of putting the handcuffs on the multinational corporations, the path of nationalizing the economic infrastructure and putting the economic resources of Latin America in the hands of the peoples themselves.
Looking into the economic basis of U.S. intervention again teaches the people in the U.S. that our struggle against U.S. militarism and colonialism in Latin America must strike against the very foundations of the capitalist-imperialist system. In political terms it means that the struggle against U.S. intervention must be directed against the parties of monopoly capital and imperialism - against the Republicans and Democrats. (to be continued).
(This entire speech will soon be published in pamphlet form. For more information contact The Worker at P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL. 60625; (312) 409-1127).
# Roger Morrison says :
June 28, 2009 [ 16:14 ]
Peru massacre photos shown at the House of Commons
I attended Cafod’s meeting in the House of Commons with speakers from Peru Support and Survival International on the attacks on indigenous people in Peru, yesterday.
President Alan Garcia condemned the indigenous as ‘primitive’, repealed laws protecting their land and sent solidiers into kill them when they protested.
During the meeting Marijke Deleu, an eyewitness to the killings at Bagua, showed us graphic photos of bullet wounds and burned victims of the Peruvian regime. The indigenous are highly organised and their protests have forced the Peruvian congress to restore protection of their land. After being shown these photos, the Peruvian Ambassador was asked to respond…he started by condemning the fact that no MPs had come along to hear him and asked that this comment would be ‘off the record’. He seemed quite angry about the lack of MPs, while I don’t generally defend British members of parliament, they were a bit busy yesterday during the meeting voting for a new speaker of the house of commons.
I was able to convey my disgust to the Ambassador, I spoke after him and read a statement from the indigenous condemning his government. He did apologise for the killings and suggested exploitation of their indigenous land would cease…he rather spoiled this by trying to connect the protest of the indigenous, indirectly, with the guerillas of Shining Path and by arguing that much of the land in the Amazon was occupied by people who wearn’t really indigenous.
Shining Path and Alan Garcia both have indigenous blood on their hands.Lets make no mistake but for the protest of the indigenous their land would be stolen, more of the Amazon logged and oil production expanded.
The meeting in committee room 9 was totally packed with speaker after speaker, many of whom were Peruvians condemning the Ambassador’s government.
# Nora says :
June 28, 2009 [ 17:02 ]
Here are 10 Points that Communism lacks:
They cost so little but they are worth so much!
1.You cannot bring about prosperity by descouraging thrift.
2.You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
3.You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
4.You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
5.You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer
6.You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
7.You cannot further the brotherhood of man by INCITING class hatred.
8.You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
9.You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's INITIATIVE and independence.
10.You cannot help men permanently by doing for men what they could and SHOULD do for themselves.
# Bridge is OPEN says :
June 28, 2009 [ 17:15 ]
The Road Blocked Puno Cusco road is now open
trucks are delivering their products to cusco after the 17 days stuck in Sicuni....
# Mike says :
June 29, 2009 [ 8:39 ]
Thank you for your list, Nora.
Don't forget, everyone, check out the Black Book of Communism now on sale at Amazon. It is a tragic, interesting, and eye-opening book.
# Mark Hicks says :
June 29, 2009 [ 15:12 ]
Revolutionary Struggle & Social Democracy in Latin America.
Check out link below:
# Martin Humphries says :
June 29, 2009 [ 15:21 ]
Ollanta Humala Defends the Rights of the Amazons Indegenous People:
Viva Ollanta Humala.
# c.schmidt says :
June 29, 2009 [ 17:40 ]
how comes that until now - after so many people lost their lives - after we were informed that there might be be much more dead persons- how comes after all this terrible imagines going round the globe no one took political consequences?
Still waiting for the answer of question in second part of interpellation-
how comes not even one journalist on TV well known broadcasters ask
"we now from congress meeting last week it was a political decision- this decision is taken than from politician- could you elevate the name from the politician who gave the order- who is responsible"
Instead off we see- almost like media Watch doc described many - "political programs" who become kind of evening entertainment circus for reports on artists who lost under different circumstances their life’s.It is always sad to see a famous singer or artist dead- but in days like this in Peru – and news seemed to be hold bag? In a political tv show this kind of artist stuff before reporting about what was really going on in the country- all the events from 2 weks (Bagua- so many dead people , 7 hour Interpellation from prime minister in congress, Silustani, Cusco, road blocks, strikes and so on)Why?It seems almost on day by day base the will of control over medias from those who are in charge is getting more desperate, inn between Peruvians get old TV series who don’t contribute to education, mediocre semi nudist dancers or singers with few exeption from some very good shows and many animated films which fulfills subcortex level to get prob. Peoples attention away from what is really going on in the country. Peruvians Population seems not to much to believe and very often people say- many of our press is controlled. They also know that some private owned broadcasters are in debts and therefore might be exist the possibility of pressed singular based views or some kind of agreemment with certain persons in charge. Overtaking from Canal 5 showed that there might exist a delicate topic. It was discussed in congress largely. Myself I find it alarming to see in on well known tv canal the come bag of one journalist who seemed to have gotten payments direct from former intelligence mister montesinos who does his time in jail and worst from it- he named his kind of mediocre program after historical days in which thousands of young soldiers died many decades ago- this historical memory stands for painfully memory which prize was paid for freedom and return of democracy- a value which from my point of the specific journalist I refer never defended in his professional performance. Surely some International Veterans might find it interesting to watch in this programs and to insists that in honor of bloody historical memories- days on which they lost their brothers in the field are not getting used. Smart persons around the globe might also analyze if this kind of programs serve freedom and democracy.Anyone who has similar feelings about this should put his thoughts fresh and wild on the red- and I don’t doubt it- it times were the spirit of “change we need” gets spread- from developed and advanced democracy countries might be some brave press associations who make their sharp report on this in favor of “change we need here in Peru”In very general terms I remember the dictatorship in former east Germany(failed communism, fascism or second world feudalism - were is at the end the difference-the face is the same - oppression of many controlled by few elites (referring to BBC country per file analyze) ) As stronger there seemed to grow the sense of losing power/control as more aggressive there was the intend to control medias and to give the impression that everything was under control. Calm should return on Peruvians streets and I hope very soon we will only listen good news about Peru on int. broadcasting, news about more job giving investment, about more respect for environment, about betters Justice and about less corruption.For that Peru need efficient, concrete substantial politics which are focused to fulfill election promises and work on base of more transparency.
If those in charge don’t dedicate space in sharp auto reflection and make a sharp U turn in how to approach countries problems than we might see in the future more than now media realities which appear quit divided from real Peruvian reality and it might not make the country a quieter or safer place either if some TV canals start their morning reports about one accident on the street meanwhile somewhere else thousands of protestors claiming their demands.
# Splaktar says :
June 29, 2009 [ 18:22 ]
"After the bloody Amazon clashes Peru's government had to back"
Are you trying to say that Peru's government backed the bloody clashes?
It seems like "had to back off" would make more sense...at least in English...
# Claude Williams says :
June 30, 2009 [ 11:32 ]
Peru: Blood Flows in the Amazon . 06.10.2009
In early June, Peruvian President Alan García, an ally of US President Barack Obama, ordered armored personnel carriers, helicopter gun-ships and hundreds of heavily armed troops to assault and disperse a peaceful, legal protest organized by members of Peru’s Amazonian indigenous communities protesting the entry of foreign multinational mining companies on their traditional homelands.
Dozens of Indians were killed or are missing, scores have been injured and arrested and a number of Peruvian police, held hostage by the indigenous protestors were killed in the assault. President García declared martial law in the region in order to enforce his unilateral and unconstitutional fiat granting of mining exploitation rights to foreign companies, which infringed on the integrity of traditional Amazonian indigenous communal lands.
Alan García is no stranger to government-sponsored massacres. In June 1986, he ordered the military to bomb and shell prisons in the capital holding many hundreds of political prisoners protesting prison conditions – resulting in over 400 known victims. Later obscure mass graves revealed dozens more. This notorious massacre took place while García was hosting a gathering of the so-called ‘Socialist’ International in Lima. His political party, APRA (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance) a member of the ‘International’, was embarrassed by the public display of its ‘national-socialist’ proclivities, before hundreds of European Social Democrat functionaries. Charged with misappropriation of government funds and leaving office with an inflation rate of almost 8,000% in 1990, he agreed to support Presidential candidate Alberto Fujimori in exchange for amnesty. When Fujimori imposed a dictatorship in 1992, García went into self-imposed exile in Colombia and later, France. He returned in 2001 when the statute of limitations on his corruption charges had expired and Fujimori was forced to resign amidst charges of running death squads and spying on his critics. García won the 2006 Presidential elections in a run-off against the pro-Indian nationalist candidate and former Army officer, Ollanta Humala, thanks to financial and media backing by Lima’s rightwing, ethnic European oligarchs and US overseas ‘AID’ agencies.
Back in power, García left no doubt about his political and economic agenda. In October 2007 he announced his strategy of placing foreign multi-national mining companies at the center of his economic ‘development’ program, while justifying the brutal displacement of small producers from communal lands and indigenous villages in the name of ‘modernization’.
García pushed through congressional legislation in line with the US-promoted ‘Free Trade Agreement of the Americas’ or ALCA. Peru was one of only three Latin American nations to support the US proposal. He opened Peru to the unprecedented plunder of its resources, labor, land and markets by the multinationals. In late 2007, García began to award huge tracts of traditional indigenous lands in the Amazon region for exploitation by foreign mining and energy multinationals. This was in violation of a 1969 International Labor Organization-brokered agreement obligating the Peruvian government to consult and negotiate with the indigenous inhabitants over exploitation of their lands and rivers. Under his ‘open door’ policy, the mining sector of the economy expanded rapidly and made huge profits from the record-high world commodity prices and the growing Asian (Chinese) demand for raw materials. The multinational corporations were attracted by Peru’s low corporate taxes and royalty payments and virtually free access to water and cheap government-subsidized electricity rates. The enforcement of environmental regulations was suspended in these ecologically fragile regions, leading to wide-spread contamination of the rivers, ground water, air and soil in the surrounding indigenous communities. Poisons from mining operations led to massive fish kills and rendered the water unfit for drinking. The operations decimated the tropical forests, undermining the livelihood of tens of thousands of villagers engaged in traditional artisan work and subsistence forest gathering and agricultural activities.
The profits of the mining bonanza go primarily to the overseas companies. The García regime distributes state revenues to his supporters among the financial and real estate speculators, luxury goods importers and political cronies in Lima’s enclosed upscale, heavily guarded neighborhoods and exclusive country-clubs. As the profit margins of the multinationals reached an incredible 50% and government revenues exceeded $1 billion US dollars, the indigenous communities lacked paved roads, safe water, basic health services and schools. Worse still, they experienced a rapid deterioration of their everyday lives as the influx of mining capital led to increased prices for basic food and medicine. Even the World Bank in its Annual Report for 2008 and the editors of the Financial Times of London urged the García regime to address the growing discontent and crisis among the indigenous communities. Delegations from the indigenous communities had traveled to Lima to try to establish a dialogue with the President in order to address the degradation of their lands and communities. The delegates were met with closed doors. García maintained that ‘progress and modernity come from the big investments by the multinationals…,(rather than) the poor peasants who haven’t a centavo to invest.’ He interpreted the appeals for peaceful dialogue as a sign of weakness among the indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon and increased his grants of exploitation concessions to foreign MNCs even deeper into the Amazon. He cut off virtually all possibility for dialogue and compromise with the Indian communities.
The Amazonian Indian communities responded by forming the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP). They held public protests for over 7 weeks culminating in the blocking of two transnational highways. This enraged García, who referred to the protestors as ‘savages and barbarians’ and sent police and military units to suppress the mass action. What García failed to consider was the fact that a significant proportion of indigenous men in these villages had served as rmy conscripts, who fought in the 1995 war against Ecuador while others had been trained in local self-defense community organizations. These combat veterans were not intimidated by state terror and their resistance to the initial police attacks resulted in both police and Indian casualties. García then declared ‘war on the savages’ sending a heavy military force with helicopters and armored troops with orders to ‘shoot to kill’. AIDESEP activists report over one hundred deaths among the indigenous protestors and their families: Indians were murdered in the streets, in their homes and workplaces. The remains of many victims are believed to have been dumped in the ravines and rivers.
The Obama regime has predictably not issued a single word of concern or protest in the face of one of the worst massacres of Peruvian civilians in this decade – perpetrated by one of America’s closest remaining allies in Latin America. García, taking his talking points from the US Ambassador, accused Venezuela and Bolivia of having instigated the Indian ‘uprising’, quoting a letter of support from Bolivia’s President Evo Morales sent to an intercontinental conference of Indian communities held in Lima in May as ‘proof’. Martial law was declared and the entire Amazon region of Peru is being militarized. Meetings are banned and family members are forbidden from searching for their missing relatives.
Throughout Latin America, all the major Indian organizations have expressed their solidarity with the Peruvian indigenous movements. Within Peru, mass social movements, trade unions and human rights groups have organized a general strike on June 11. Fearing the spread of mass protests, El Commercio, the conservative Lima daily, cautioned García to adopt some conciliatory measures to avoid a generalized urban uprising. A one-day truce was declared on June 10, but the Indian organizations refused to end their blockade of the highways unless the García Government rescinds its illegal land grant decrees.
In the meantime, a strange silence hangs over the White House. Our usually garrulous President Obama, so adept at reciting platitudes about diversity and tolerance and praising peace and justice, cannot find a single phrase in his prepared script condemning the massacre of scores of indigenous inhabitants of the Peruvian Amazon. When egregious violations of human rights are committed in Latin America by a US backed client-President following Washington’s formula of ‘free trade’, deregulation of environmental protections and hostility toward anti-imperialist countries (Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador), Obama favors complicity over condemnation.
June 10, 2009
# c.schmidt says :
June 30, 2009 [ 15:07 ]
What is happen here?- today was votacion de censure for prime minister/interrio minister - several congresspersons from opposition are not allowed to enter- they would have prob. Vote in favor of censure like one congress member from a different opposite party told. The result will from my point of few destabilize the situation more.Who ever thinks- go on like nothing happened that it will calm down – has no wisdom in politics.Common Peruvians might think same - this votes were not reached because 7 excluded nationalists could not vote- like mister Belaunde (AP)said at the end of congress meeting. From almost all politcial parties we listen critical words from their members with exeption of Apra party congressmembers. Add your comment
today - well performed mister Bedoya (unidad nacional ) , such as mister Souza (Fujimorista ) outspoeken critical among others . also mister Bruce (one left over from Peru possible) gave a very clear and good statement - and for an independent viewer there was a clear impression that National party after what happen in Bagua seems to be very outspoken for bringing clarity in the events and several of their members performed strong in interest of clean political environment and interest of common Peruvians. Among peruvian population after what happen in the amazon they will gain much more followers. It is really incredible that after so many dead people there is no clear demonstration of responsibility- letting go things like this thought might raise up public anger much more- I mean we seen today already again a new strike and another’s are announced for next week. Letting things like what happened in Bagua uncensored will open the door little by little for dictatorship, for eventual human right abuse – and who ever might go on might think- one dead more or less- who counts anyhow? People from now on might get used too it? The imagines from Bagua – I never saw something like this here in all my years in Peru. Therefore under my name- It is a shame that no one takes political responsibility for this and steps voluntary aside. What might be the next- bigger mistakes, bigger killings, eventually more bodies to hide? Who from now on guar ants it wont happen again? I am very much against to think in Right wing or left wing schemas- the thing is very simple- it is about what is right and what is wrong. Therefore is was glad that at least many opposition voices with different views were open for censorship- this persons should speak to each other – make alliances- look what they have in common in the best interest of the country and inner peace and stability. .It is almost in the air- day by day those in charge kind of lose credibility and control among population - in congress today the word incapacity was used more than 12 times- and this is interesting- from different sides. What I expect- quit honest I am very concern. Investors might think twice to put money here because even they evaluate the gap between raising anger on the streets which is not jet canalized.Lately I think those who push for mister Garcia in charge must have exactly know that they eventually will create such scenario. I mean there were warnings about it, Why someone who according to so many failed once was brought bag into power?Is this part of a higher plan? I mean to support someone who quit obvious failed in first term and than give him a second chance - it must have been wanted that way, to keep the country poor.Meanwhile the country again seems to bleed out economically again and at the end it will be like always- new elites will step in and will by for the lowest prize what before was expensive. And in a few years when almost al rivers are contaminated all this people who are part of this will understand that you can’t eat money- it will be too late than.They spoke today so much about democracy- I remember- and this in very general terms- many dictatorships or semi dictatorships are using democracy like a cover.Former East German dictatorship was officially a democratic republic- quit incomparable too Peru- but we are here away from well working democracy.Basement of any democratic society is a well working justice system was civil and penal law is guaranteed.Justice does not work here according to developed country standard.Private property rights are not well defined- like when you have something and someone else is using it and not paying than there is almost no way to access your property fast- it costs month ore years, notifications don’t arrive, and brivory in general terms in very common. Same in other cases – sheeting’s, violations, steeling, abuses and so on. Middle class people lose their time and money on trials which take in modern societies month –the cash can’t move and meanwhile middle class get poorer, society shape changes and more people swift into new dependencies- at the end they even lose their properties and have to become debt slaves- A way to control societies and take freedom out. And about the mass of poor- the amount of hungry persons today in Peru was very well described from mister Meckler. I don’t think in good or bad country schemas- - in all country we find very good and very bad persons and the battle historically until now is always the same- There seems to exist only one conflictThe conflict between tendencies of some persons or groups to have more and more and more and more and to have absolute control and on the other side the unbeatable will which is in every person to be free. If sense of freedom gets touched over the limit- than things tend to go into out handed. I hope very much that persons with commonsense analyze wisely that division is very often a way of getting control. I hope that this crisis makes person with influence speak to each other who thought that they don’t have too much to say to each other and forget a little bit about party interests and do what they have to do in the best interest of Peru and the Peruvian people.
(My self I always was wondering what makes a person with votacion abstention?- it should be as simple like this - yes or not - congress members are elected for having an opinion about something- if they cant decide they should work as farmers or cow boys.)