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Peruvian President Vetoes Conservation Bill for Indigenous Peoples
Two weeks ago the Peruvian president vetoed a bill which would have codified parts of the UN convention on indigenous peoples, saying its passage would have harmed the economy. The law would have helped halt oil, gas, and mining projects on tribal land.
Indigenous groups spoke out furiously against the move, saying that they would now no longer have to be consulted about—never mind receive the option of rejecting—natural resource extraction projects on their lands. The bill would have also extended protection to peasant communities.
AIDESEP, the National Organization of the Amazon Indigenous people of Peru, released a statement saying "[t]his means the government can do what it wants on ancestral indigenous lands, even if tribes disagree with an extractive, transnational company going into our communities to deforest Mother Earth."
Peru has become a hotbed of hydrocarbon exploration and extraction, fueling its rapidly, if not equitably, growing economy. The oil boom has come at a price, however, as David Hill, a researcher at Survival International, explains that "[i]n the last few years things in Peru have been getting worse. The legal security of indigenous ownership of their territories has been gradually undermined, and Peru's government has carved up more and more of the Amazon between oil and gas companies, without the consent of local people. It's a grim situation."
The Peruvian congress had passed the bill in May, after violence between indigenous peoples and police last year killed more than 30 people.
Read the full story online at the Guardian, along with more information about the effects of oil exploration on Peru’s indigenous peoples.
Posted By Douglas Bojack at 4:10pm on July 08, 2010
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