Pray for Peace in Peru

Violent clashes between Peruvian police and indigenous protesters in the region of Bagua, Peru this past week.

The indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon are protesting because of fast-track decrees that allow the entrance of extractive industries to their native lands. These decrees are part of the implementation of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement which began February 1, 2009.

Friday night and Saturday, the Peruvian police were called into the area, called "The Devil's Curve" and opened fire on the communities who had been performing a protest and blockade for several weeks.

The communities were armed with sticks and lances; the police with guns, helicopters, shields, and gases.

Numbers of those killed are unconfirmed, as allegations that the police are hiding bodies have come to light. The government also called a curfew, preventing indigenous residents to search for the missing.

This is one example of the violent results of Free Trade. Many, many communities have spoken out about these events in defense of human rights, environment, fair trade, indigenous rights, and democracy.

One step you can take is to read more from the following english articles. Sign the letter to President Garcia here. Sign on to this ecumenical, international statement for peace. And stay tuned for ways to communicate with other international leaders for the rights of all people.

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