President Urged to Stop the Attack on Indigenous Peoples in Peru

June 17, 2009, 10:49 AM EST

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A group of trade unions, religious and human rights groups in Canada are calling on the Peruvian government to stop the violent police actions against peaceful Indigenous protestors that have plagued the northern town of Bagua.

In a joint letter to Peruvian President Alan Garcia dated June 12 the group decried the deaths of Indigenous protestors in recent weeks. Peruvian police officials have employed deadly force to stem growing unrest among Indigenous protestors who are demanding consultation or consent over proposed development on their territories.

The Peruvian government is currently in talks with Canada and the United States in an effort to draft a free trade deal, which opens up Indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest to increased extraction of natural resources by multinational corporations.

The group, which includes the Canadian Auto Workers union, suggests the actions of the Peruvian government directly contravene the rights of Indigenous Peoples under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights on Indigenous Peoples as well as other international laws and conventions.

Among a series of demands in the letter, the organizations ask that the Peruvian government enter into meaningful dialogue with Indigenous leaders to resolve this conflict and immediately cease violent police actions against peaceful protestors.

Click here to view the full text of the letter.

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