|A wounded protester is beaten by police, Bagua, Peru|
© Marijke Deleu and Thomas Quirynen
Peru’s government is gearing up to investigate the tragic violence in the Amazon last month that left more than 30 people dead, over a hundred injured, and many still missing.
A government committee has ten days to choose the investigating team, which will be led by members of the Catholic Church and is being created after a recommendation by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya. Peru’s prime minister, Yehude Simon, has said that the team will include representatives from all sectors of society to avoid any accusations of bias.
The preparations are being made after continuing speculation about events in Bagua, northern Peru, where the violence took place. A high-ranking police officer recently suggested that soldiers from the Peruvian army escaped from their barracks to fight on the indigenous protesters’ side, but these claims have been dismissed by an Armed Forces spokesman.
Meanwhile, a Peruvian judge has rejected charges brought against Alberto Pizango, the leader of Peru’s national Amazon Indian organisation, AIDESEP, and four other AIDESEP leaders. The charges are likely to be re-filed. Pizango has had to flee the country and is currently a political exile in Nicaragua.
Read Survival's eye-witness report on the events in Bagua.