Nervous Peace Prevails After Peru Cops Quell Unrest

Curfew in place after clashes kill dozens of indigenous people, police
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 7:42 AM CDT
Soldiers stand on guard at a bridge during the 3pm-to-6am curfew in Bagua Grande, Peru, Sunday, June 7, 2009.    (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
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(Newser) – An uneasy peace has returned to northeast Peru after 3 days of clashes between indigenous people and security forces that left dozens dead, CNN reports. A curfew is holding, and both police and protesters say they want to settle their dispute through nonviolent means. The leader of the indigenous rights group that began the protest has fled to the Nicaraguan embassy in Lima.

The clashes, which began after police attacked a roadblock set up by tribes protesting the sale of their ancestral Amazon lands to oil and mining companies, killed 22 policeman and nine natives, according to police. Amnesty International put the number higher, and native groups say up to 100 indigenous people are dead or missing. They accuse the government of dumping bodies in the jungle to mask the true death toll.