"Peru Declares State of Emergency and Suspends Constitutional Rights of Indigenous Peoples**, and
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Igorut Nation), Chairperson of the United Nations 8th Session on the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) (http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/) and Executive Director of Tebtebba: Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education (www.tebtebba.org) joins us for the today's show to discuss continuing developments themes being discussed at this years United Nations 8th Session on the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII); topics include implementing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP), Extractive Industries, Women's Indigenous Issues, Article Circle Indigenous Nations impacts by climate change, other highlights, plus more.
The United Nations 8th Session on the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is held from May 18th, 2009 to May 29th, 2009 at the United Nations in New York City, New York (USA). For more information, visit (http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/)
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**Actors and Activists Plan Demonstration In Protest of Peruvian Government: Tuesday May 26
Hollywood celebrities, activists and Indigenous youth are pulling together in a prayer Vigil and peaceful demonstration in solidarity with 65 tribes, 1000 communities and more than 30,000 indigenous peoples in Peru, who are being criminalized by their government for holding peaceful protests throughout the country’s Amazon region.
Celebrities attending to help raise awareness and speaking at the Vigil are: Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World, The People Speak), Clifton Collins jr (Star Trek, The Horsemen), Alex Meraz (The Twilight Saga-New Moon), Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera).
When: Tuesday, May 26th, 6:30 pm
Where: In front of the Consulate General of Peru , 3450 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
What: We call on the Peruvian Government to respect the rights of its Indigenous peoples and refrain from using military force, violence, repression and bloodshed in their response to the Indigenous mobilizations. Furthermore we strongly urge the Peruvian press and media to commit to accurate press coverage of the protests and stop radicalizing and distorting the position of the indigenous protesters in the eyes of the public.
Why: For the past 43 days, thousands of Indigenous people have been blockading roads and river traffic throughout the Amazon in peaceful protests, demanding the repeal of a series of new laws imposed by the Garcia Administration under the pretext of implementing the Free Trade agreements (FTA) with the United States. Protesters demand the revocation of 10 new legal decrees, which grant international corporate access to Amazonian lands and allow oil, logging and mining companies to buy large parcels of communally-owned indigenous land without the consent of the local inhabitants.
These new laws directly undermine indigenous peoples rights and violate rights recognized in the national constitution as well as in international treaties, including the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 169.
Implementing these new legal decrees, result in a government backed land-grab by large international corporations and the extractive industries and set the stage for water privatization. , In spite of the fact that the consequences of such laws directly affecting indigenous peoples life’s, wellbeing and in some cases even their survival, the new laws allow for Indigenous peoples to be excluded from the decision making process.
On May 9, 2009, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in the regions of Loreto, Amazonas, Cusco, and Ucayali in an attempt to criminalize and intimidate whatever protests occur on indigenous territory. This action is a license for the government to violently repress Indigenous People and the Peruvian Government is subjecting indigenous areas to military occupation in order to silence indigenous community opponents of extractive industries.
Under the emergency decree, all constitutional rights have been suspended — including the right to hold meetings and freedom of movement. The measure also permits the use of armed forces against the civil population, criminalizing the legitimate rights and demands of the Peruvian indigenous nations, as well as endangering normal democratic rights.
Accurate news reports out of Peru have been extremely scarce, despite the sad news that one protester is dead, 9 more critically wounded, 6 indigenous leaders detained and several people gone missing in a recent confrontation with military police. Video and photo evidence show police beating peaceful protesters and firing rubber bullets in order to break up demonstrations blocking roads and bridges.
Also, In an aggressive harassment campaign, the Garcia government has filed criminal charges of treason and sedition against 6 indigenous leaders including Alberto Pizango, president of AIDESEP, Peru’s national indigenous organization. Furthermore, the government appears to be carrying out a strategy to control press coverage of both the mobilization and the response.
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