6/10/09 Human Rights Activists Present Letter to Consul General

Houstonianians and Peruvian Consul General

This morning, three human rights activists representing Friends of Brad Will, Houston Indymedia, and Houston Food Not Bombs met with The Consul General at the Peruvian Consulate in Houston.Ellie Sequeira, Rachel Clarke, and Nick Cooper expressed concerns and delivered a letter (below) about the role of the Peruvian government, oil corporations and free trade in the deaths of dozens of indigenous Peruvians. The Consul, Carlos R. Polo, expressed the government position that unarmed police were attacked by indigenous when trying to re-open roads that were keeping essential supplies from the poor in those regions. Nick Cooper, representing Friends of Brad Will, responded that while many facts of what happened on June 5th will continue to be disputed, that the violence against indigenous groups is not something that happens only at gunpoint — indigenous people die and lose their land and ways of life whenever petroleum is extracted, sometimes with bullets, sometimes with toxins, etc. Rachel Clarke from Houston Indymedia encouraged the Consul to visit the website Amazon Watch to see the horrible photos of the indigenous victims. The meeting was respectful with all parties having the opportunity to express their thoughts and finished with a photo and an agreement to continue the dialogue.Hours later, the Houston activists held a press conference on the steps of the Petroleum Club where, last year, a Shapibo indigenous leader interrupted an auction of indigenous lands to oil developers, respectfully telling the bidders about the devastating toxic effects of 35 years of petroleum development on indigenous territories. Houston also hosted two Achuar leaders visited Houston to discuss oil drilling in the Amazon in 2006.

Letter in English (Spanish below)Nick Coopernick@nickcooper.comWednesday June 10th, 2009re: June 5 military police raidCarlos R. PoloConsul GeneralConsulate General of the Republic of Peru5177 Richmond Ave., Suite 695Houston, TX 77056-6707Esteemed Carlos R. Polo,It is with a heavy heart that I contact you on the essential matter of the treatment of the indigenous people of Peru. I have had the honor to meet these brave and resolute Achuar and Shapibo leaders, and have heard first hand of the suffering caused by petroleum extraction from their lands.

The Friends of Brad Will, an organization committed to non-exploitative international communication and exchange, asks you in the strongest terms to help influence the government of Peru to:

– immediately suspend violent repression of indigenous protests and the State of Emergency

– repeal the Free Trade Laws that allow oil, logging, and agricultural corporations easy entry into indigenous territories

– respect indigenous peoples’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to self-determination, to their ancestral territories, and to prior consultation

– enter into good faith process of dialogue with indigenous peoples to resolve this conflict

Sincerely,
Nick Cooper, Friends of Brad Will
Border States Chapter Congressional Liaison
friendsofbradwill.org

————-Nick Coopernick@nickcooper.comMiércoles 10 de Junio, 2009Asunto: la redada militar del 5 de junioCarlos R. PoloCónsul GeneralConsulado General de la República del Perú5177 Richmond Ave., Suite 695Houston, TX 77056-6707Estimado Carlos R. Polo,Es con el corazón pesado que me pongo en contacto con usted sobre la cuestión
fundamental del tratamiento de los pueblos indígenas del Perú. He tenido el honor
de conocer a estos valientes y determinados líderes Achuar y Shapibo, y he escuchado
de primera mano el sufrimiento causado por la extracción de petróleo de sus tierras.

Los Amigos de Brad Will es una organización dedicada a la no explotación de la
comunicación e intercambio internacional, y le pedimos en términos
enérgicos que ayuden a influir al gobierno del Perú a:

— suspender de inmediato el Estado de Emergencia y la represión violenta de las protestas indígenas.

— revocar las leyes de libre comercio que permiten entrada fácil a las empresas petroleras, forestales, y agrícolas a los territorios indígenas

— respetar los derechos garantizados por la constitución a los pueblos indígenas a libre determinación, territorios ancestrales, y consulta previa

— entrar en un proceso de diálogo en buena fé con los pueblos indígenas para resolver este conflicto

Sinceramente,Nick Cooper, Los Amigos de Brad WillEnlace Congresional de los Estados Fronterizosfriendsofbradwill.org

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