Global Greens condemn violence in Peru, seek an independent investigation of police actions at protests against land grab for oil drilling
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Monday, June 22, 2009
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, email@example.com
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of the Global Green Coordination, forwarded by the Green Party of the United States
WASHINGTON, DC -- The following statement was issued by the Global Green Coordination on June 15. The Global Greens (http://www.globalgreens.org) is the international network of Green parties and political movements, founded in 2001 at the First Global Greens Congress, in Canberra, Australia. The Green Party of the United States is a member of the Global Greens.
Global Greens Condemn Violence in Peru
The Global Green Coordination has called for an independent investigation into the actions of police in the Amazonian region of Peru which resulted in at least 50 deaths. After the violence near the town of Bagua Grande, hundreds more people, mainly indigenous people, are missing and it is alleged that police have hidden hundreds of bodies. Indigenous people were protesting against new legislation which will mean their land can be exploited for oil and gas drilling.
We call on the government of President Alan Garcia to immediately stop all police actions against demonstrations by indigenous people. We also urge the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to launch an independent investigation into the violence, just as it did after similar violence in Bolivia earlier this year. In that instance, UNASUR played a very important role in calming an extremely volatile situation and they could do so again in this case. It is also vital that the Peruvian authorities allow human rights organisations free access to the area where the clashes took place, so that a thorough assessment of what happened can be made.
The Global Greens also call on the international community to put all the pressure it can on the Peruvian Government so that it stops police violence against indigenous protesters and launches a thorough and independent investigation into the causes of the violence.
An important element of the pressure which could be brought to bear on Peru is related to trade agreements: the change in legislation the indigenous protested against is necessary following the stipulations in the recent Free Trade Agreement between Peru and the USA. The Commercial Agreement the EU is currently negotiating with with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador contains very similar provisions, and partly goes beyond US demands. Therefore, a radical change of the EU negotiations is necessary as a first step we call on the European Commission and Council to suspend negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with Peru (as well as Ecuador and Colombia) until an independent investigation has reached its conclusions and the people responsible for the violence have been tried and, if found guilty, been sentenced to punishment. The suspension should provide the time necessary to reorientate the contents of the negotiations, so that a future agreement protects people and the environment rather then exploit them.
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