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Peru – End police attacks on peaceful indigenous protesters

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Mr. President Alan García,

I am writing to express my deepest concern over the recent police attack on peaceful indigenous protesters in Bagua, northern Peru.  Eyewitness reports from the field indicate that the police attacked in the early morning, firing tear gas and live bullets that resulted in the deaths of both protesters and police officers.  I am strongly urging your administration to immediately stand down, refraining from using additional deadly force on indigenous demonstrators.

In the context of the Free Trade Agreement with the US, your administration has attempted to roll back the rights of indigenous peoples and open the Amazon rainforest to increased extraction of natural resources by multinational corporations in contravention of international laws and conventions that guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples, including those ratified by Peru.
In September 2007, the Peruvian government demonstrated true leadership in introducing and supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the floor of the General Assembly. Today, your administration is acting in stark contrast to its stated commitment to this Declaration.
I respectfully urge your administration and the Peruvian Congress to:
1.Order an immediate cessation of violent police actions against peaceful protesters.
2.Suspend the State of Emergency, withdraw your Special Forces and decriminalize peaceful protests.
3.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.
4.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.
5.Enter into good faith meaningful process of dialogue with indigenous leaders to resolve this conflict.