Latin America- Peru Conflict History

The Conflict in Peru

How it Started

Fifty four days into a peaceful protest on June 6, 2009 after a lack of agreement between the Peruvian Government and the Amazonian people of Peru. Indigenous protestors set up a road block at a place called "la Curva del Diablo" which translated means the Devil's Curve, as a protest against some Legislative Decrees passed by parliament the previous year to implement the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Peru. Most of the Legislative Decrees dealt with Peru's natural resources. The Decrees deliberately bypassed indigenous rights.

In the confrontation 23 Peruvian Police officers and 10 indigenous people lost their lives, as well as hundreds of bystanders. In addition, the President of the AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle) Alberto Pizango was charged with sedition, he fled the country and took refuge in Nicaragua.

At the center of the controversy are the following Legislative Decrees

Legislative Decree 994- Promoted private investment in irrigation projects to expand, agricultural boundaries.

Legislative Decree 1064- Removes the requirement for companies to come to an agreement with the indigenous community over land compensation and land use before entering their lands.

Legislative Decree 1089- Gives unrestricted powers for land titling to COFOPRI, the government body that specializes in granting individual land titles.

Legislative Decree 1090- Reduces the level of protection of forest to be returned to the state for agricultural use.

Some Progress Made

After the worst violence that Peru has seen since the 1990s, on June 15th the Legislative Decrees 1064 and 1090 were suspended and repealed three days later.