Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

On June 5, 2009 World Environment Day, Peruvian Amazon Indians were massacred by the government of Alan Garcia in the latest chapter of a long war to take over common lands—a war unleashed by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and the United States. Three MI-17 helicopters took off from the base of the National Police in El Milagro at six in the morning of Friday, June 5. They flew over Devil’s Curve, the part of the highway that joins the jungle with the northern coast, which had been occupied for the past 10 days by some 5,000 Awajun and Wampi indigenous peoples. The copters launched tear gas on the crowd (other versions say they also shot machine guns), while simultaneously a group of agents attacked the road block by ground, firing AKM rifles. A hundred people were wounded by gunshot and between 20-25 were killed. The versions are contradictory. The government claimed days after the events that there are 11 indigenous dead and 23 police. The indigenous organizations reported 50 dead among their ranks and up to 400 disappeared. According to witnesses,  the military burned bodies and threw them into the river to hide the massacre, and also took prisoners among the wounded in hospitals. In any case, what is certain is that the government sent the armed forces to evict a peaceful protest that had been going on for 57 days in five jungle regions: Amazonas, Cusco, Loreto, San Martin, and Ucayali.

Title: Massacre in the Amazon: The U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement Sparks a Battle Over Land and Resources

Source: Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP) 6/16/2009


Title: ‘Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River,’ Say Native Protesters

Author: Raul Zibechi, Translated by Laura Carlson, ‘Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River,’ Say Native Protesters” Milagros Salazar,

Source: Inter Press Service, June 9, 2009


Student Researcher: Kelsea Arnold

Faculty Evaluator: Eric McGuckin, PhD

Sonoma State University