Remembering the massacre of indigenous protestors in Peru

By Jed and Jenny Koball | Mission Co-workers Peru

The campaign for Amazon Resistance and Life works with indigenous leaders on organizing around their land rights. Peruvian law makes it easier for foreign owned extractive industries to obtain legal rights to land that has been occupied by indigenous populations for generations. Photo by Conrado Olivera.

Earlier this month marked the 11th anniversary of ¨El Baguazo¨ – the massacre of indigenous protesters in the Amazon at the hands of the Peruvian National Police.  Of course, remembering such recent history of oppression today in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of white police officers in the United States and the subsequent ongoing protests in defense of black lives reminds us of the deep roots of systemic racism and violence that continue to suppress people of color throughout the world.

The evil of colonialism rooted in white supremacy has manifested itself in distinct and disturbing ways across the generations to this very day. The work we have to do to dismantle and uproot it is massive. And while such work is contextual, it is not unrelated from one town to another, one state to another, one country to another. It is imperative that we grow our solidarity globally to present a united front in the struggle for justice for God´s people. From here in Peru, we commit to this struggle – doing the work right where we are, beginning with ourselves, and encouraging you to do the same right where you are – praying for one another all the while.

At the funeral service for George Floyd, the Reverend Al Sharpton spoke to where this work is leading us. He said, ¨I’ve turned to the end of the Book. I know how this story is going to end. The first will be last. The last will be first. The lion and the lamb will lay down together. God will take care of His children. We got some difficult days ahead, but I know how this story is going to end. There will be justice!…Let´s fight on. Let’s stand together.¨

It is a privilege to stand together with our partners in Peru in this struggle for justice. And it is a joy to walk with you in this march towards abundant life.

Read Jed’s article “The Devil’s Curve” that tells more about the tragic event of El Baguazo.

The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.


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