Peru Army Cracks Down on Amazon Eco Uprising

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2009 6:55 AM CDT
Peru Army Cracks Down on Amazon Eco Uprising
An Indian protester screams as he is subdued Friday by police during clashes in Bagua Grande in Peru's northern province of Utcubamba.   (AP Photo/Amazon Watch)

The Peruvian Army has imposed a curfew and set up checkpoints following deadly clashes with indigenous tribes protesting plans to drill for oil and gas in ancestral homelands in the Amazon region, reports the BBC. Dozens of people, both police and protesters, were killed in the clashes that mark the biggest outbreak of violence since the Shining Path insurgency in the 1990s. Indians armed with wooden spears continued to black roadways today.

President Garcia said Peru was suffering from an "aggression against democracy." But one protester said the Indians were "fighting because we fear our land will be taken away." The tribes want to force the government to repeal new laws that encourage foreign mining in the rain forest. "We are not going to give up until they reverse these laws that will damage us," a tribal leader told Reuters.   (Read more Peru stories.)

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