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(en) Chile, periodico-solidaridad N°31 - Growing social and environmental struggles in Peru (ca) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:00:31 +0200

current Libertarian - Peru ---- "People are willing; suffer too much and, what is more, they have begun to understand that they are not forced to suffer " ---- M. Bakunin ---- The current socio-political panorama that hovers in Peru reflects a high rate of social unrest caused by different reasons, the environmental issue being one of the highlights. This aspect is part of the fact that our country is considered, according to the Environmental Justice Global Atlas of the World (conducted last year by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona), among the ten countries with conflicts Environmental against mining. ---- Social conflicts in Peru have increased in the last eleven years and now scale with greater visibility with the subsequent brutal repression by the government of the day (with killed, wounded, persecuted, prosecuted, imprisoned and harassed for speaking). Tambogrande, the Moqueguazo, the Arequipazo, Bagua, Conga, Tintaya, Tia Maria, Las Bambas are just some of the most emblematic regarding the recent period cases. The scenarios, joints or even correspond to different times, they have the same actors: the state, transnational and affected communities. It is clear that the conflict arises as a result of the economic policies imposed by the Executive to dictate the lotizaciones of indigenous territories, the extraction of raw (gas, oil, water, plants, minerals, etc.) matter and the auction to companies operating in our country, most violating international agreements or frameworks for environmental impact studies.


Fujimorato as a prelude to the crisis

However, we must not forget that this whole scenario has already been brewing since the 90s, from the corrupt and authoritarian management fujimorato that implemented measures trying to put the country at any cost in the international market and attract foreign investment to develop extractive industries. In that decade, the State had not drawn agencies and market natural resources, therefore, concessions were given to private companies. But this aspect is not produced large popular protests against the depredation of resources, since social movements and defense fronts were really weak and depleted due to the reaction of the dictatorial regime of Alberto Fujimori.

Also, let us stress that the regulatory aspect in our country was not prepared to deal with large-scale mining activities, since the state is just beginning to dictate some provisions for public participation in the power mining, hydrocarbons and 2002. Even liberal economists They recognize that by then had still not a regulated process of public participation in the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessments), and therefore, our country was not prepared in terms of standards to deliver large native lands to private capital for exploitation and consequent destruction.

Meanwhile, the Environment Act 2005 established basic principles on how they should be studies and public participation, and the relationship company-state-community. While the Ombudsman (created in 1993) publishes its first report on social conflicts recently in 2004. In addition, the creation of the Ministry of Environment in 2008 and the National Service for Environmental Certification for Sustainable Investment in 2012, accounted State legal warnings about social unrest; all this we must add that prior consultation for indigenous communities, with its rules and its seven stages, were also established to prevent such conflicts. But as always it tends to happen: economic power is imposed to the detriment of the majority.


Peoples in Resistance

And in a current scene as crucial milestones have social struggle to the call Baguazo 2009 that arose when the police arrogance under the orders of the government of Alan Garcia ventured repressively in the villages of the northern part of the Peruvian Amazon, to the detriment of the Awajún Wampis communities who demanded him to the Peruvian State due process of consultation on political and economic process in their land. The events in Bagua unleashed midyear 2009, originated in January of the same, with express orders of the central government grants to the communities as active and important actors in the negotiation process on all aspects of investment or operating in soils and subsoils that are part of the ecosystem of these communities, even before the formation of the Peruvian State as such.

Thus, on June 5 the police lash out with an eviction operation that left 33 dead. These are the official figures, which handles the media and state institutions, however, many remember that just happened the slaughter in Bagua, already circulating on social networks and virtual informative photographs of dozens of bodies of indigenous shot, bled and even maimed. Then the visual and actual findings are far from certain official figures and data that we want to impose as the only truth.

However, we know that social unrest has grown exponentially and mechanisms of protest and repression, or action and reaction, have been a constant since the state for handling them. Proof of this are the figures that records the National Coordinator of Human Rights to indicate that in the context of popular protest in the period Alejandro Toledo arrived to collect 32 dead, 117 in the Garcia government and more than 75 killed so far this Humala government; in most cases (74%) there are no lawsuits or if they ever existed, and were closed.

The funny thing is that as a rejection of criminalization and deaths in intense social protests during the Garcia government is that many leftist groups called for a vote by the then candidate Humala, who guaranteeing full freedom, dialogue and non-taxation showed a government facing the people, but soon all this was denied, with the highest point in the struggle against Yanacocha and Conga mining project in Cajamarca that records a significant number of deaths. That is, a new government loyal to neoliberal policies and measures of bullet and blood in response to popular demands.

Moreover, advocacy official reports indicate that over 54% of social conflicts have arisen, at least, an act of violence. It follows that in the last ten years, the conflict in our country has established a close relationship between the intensity of the conflict and the violence level demands attention. In other words, it is the government itself that creates the objective conditions for the uprisings and struggles, and then, facing the intensification of the protests, ends "backwards", but at the cost of lives and a lot of blood.

Recently we had the case of Las Bambas where Humala, the premier and ministers Cateriano Pedro Rosa Maria Ortiz, Energy and Mines; José Luis Pérez Guadalupe, Interior; and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, environment, ensured that the conflict that erupted there was "peacefully" passed, regardless of the lives lost there (again no responsible is prosecuted or has been punished for these deaths) during the protests of the population (over 30,000 people) represented on two fronts of defense and six communities that refuse to implement the project to be harmful to their community interests.

Prospects fight

We know that conflicts are generated on the implementation of a number of aspects of social, political and economic nature that not only satisfy the majority but is back to the latent reality of countries like ours. That is, it is not true that argument from the right mobilized accused in an alleged ignorance and sole purpose of the rule of law or social destabilization; but the demand for care and protection of their economic, social, cultural and environmental. This, said within a single plane of democratic reading in a context of social unrest like ours.

Finally, we note that in our country keeps this sinister picture of criminalization of social protest, murder and persecution, while the political power insists on showing that we called "Peruvian miracle" as an example of commercial prosperity within capitalist boom in our region. Despite the adverse way, it is social movements themselves who from the heat of battle have been tried and consolidated mechanisms of organization, struggle and mobilization based on horizontality, mass direct action, solidarity among the sectors concerned, the autonomy partisan external interference and power of the assemblies discuss and decide which resolutions taken against the onslaught of government and big business. And of course, the role of libertarians and each space is dynamic and articulate struggle with the demands of society towards a national political protest and proposals.

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