A year ago hundreds of people got killed and injured in the massacre of Bagua, in the Amazon region of Peru. This was a result of a clash between police and civilians, which was ordered by Peruvian president Alan Garcia.
On June 5th, 2009, militarized police forces of the government of Peru were ordered to attack a peaceful protest of Indigenous communities, who organized themselves to demand the revoking of presidential decrees that would allow extractive industries corporations to enter sensitive areas of the Amazon forest, without previous popular consultation.
The Garcia administration justified its decrees on the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. After the massacre, the government of Peru faced a crisis and eventually revoked most of the controversial decrees. Meanwhile Garcia blamed the violence on "foreign groups" and all the Indigenous leaders, including Alberto Pizango who had to fled the country to Nicaragua.
The Peruvian government established a manipulated Truth Commission to investigate Bagua, but at the end it released a biased report that followed the same conclusions of the Garcia government, and no officials have been taken accountable for their crimes.
Today, several Indigenous leaders are still prosecuted by the Judiciary, and more concessions for oil, gas and mining ventures have been awarded on Indigenous lands, without previous consultations.
These are some videos I recorded before, during and after the Bagua massacre. The original videos got thousands of viewers but were deleted by Youtube. Here are the videos again:
Testimony from witnesses of the massacre:
Days before the massacre of Bagua, this rally was held in Lima demanding the revoking of free-trade presidential decrees passed without consultation with Indigenous peoples:
Indigenous activist Ben Powless traveled to Bagua two days after the massacre, and this is what he saw:
Indigenous actress and activist Q'Orianka Kilcher also traveled to Peru to support the Indigenous protests after the Bagua massacre:
People from around the world organized dozens of protests in the Peruvian embassies around the world. This is one three protests held at the Peruvian embassy in Washington, DC:
Remembering all the victims of Bagua
the Indigenous civilians and policemen.
See list of events in Peru June 4-8, 2010.