Thursday, 23 July 2009

Justice for Santiago Manuin- OPEN LETTER TO ALAN GARCÍA

APRODEH – Peruvian Association for Human Rights

Dr. Alan García Pérez
President of the Republic of Peru

Through this letter, the citizens of the world, and Peruvians, who subscribe below, write to you to say that due to the disproportionate and violent police raid to evict the Indigenous peoples who were protesting in the town of Bagua, Amazonas, Santiago Manuin Valera,52 year-old Awajun indigenous leader, who at the time of the shooting was disarmed and calling for peace, was seriously injured.

Santiago Manuin, chief of the Apus of the five Cuencas de Maria de Nieva, is one of the most important leaders of the Aguaruna-Huambisa communities. A pacifist, a founder of the Jesuit Social Center SAIPE, he was also President of the Aguaruna-Huambisa Council (CAH) and a member of the struggle committee for the respect for indigenous peoples of the Province of Condorcanqui - Amazonas. Has been recognized internationally for his commitment to the environment and human rights.

On June 5, Santiago Manuin received 8 bullets from an AKM rifle all over his body. As a result of the disproportionate use of force by DINOES troops, the Awajun leader was taken to the Las Mercedes de Chiclayo hospital.

Despite this, last June 13, Judge of the First Criminal Court of Utcubamba, Francisco Miranda Caramutti ordered the search, location, capture and drive [through court order] No. 0610-09-1 of Santiago Manuin, for his responsibility in the clash in "The Devil's Curve", which killed dozens of people, including police and indigenous people. Given the trajectory of Manuin, it is surprising and offensive that they try to assign to him responsibility for the unfortunate death of the police.

In recent weeks, some authorities have pressed for this pacifist indigenous leader to be discharged [from hospital] and sent to jail, even though his health is delicate and requires medical attention. Manuin has 8 bullet holes in his body and a severe infection. As a result of the bullets, his colon is separated from his body and requires a prolonged and intense treatment. He is also diabetic, which complicates the healing of his wounds and requires further surgery. At the moment the doctors in the hospital have indicated that Manuin should not be discharged until he is fully restored.

In addition to the case of Santiago Manuin, there are other cases of leaders who face criminal proceedings, ongoing investigations and are subject to judicial prosecution, in an attempt to hold them, materially and intellectually responsible for various acts of violence. These include Alberto Pizango Chota, Saul Puerta Peña, deer Puerta Peña, Antazú Teresita Lopez, Marcial Mudarra Taki, Daysi Fasabi Zapata, Walter Kategari Iratsimery, Milton Silva, among other leaders, even though there are no valid elements that sustain the charges hanging over them.

In this regard, in the recent report on the events of Bagua and Utcubamba, the UN Special Rapporteur on the issue of Peoples, James Anaya, “reiterates his recommendation to revise the criminal charges against individuals and indigenous leaders, and urges the State to carefully justify future claims, given the special circumstances that arise in the alleged crimes and the need to create adequate conditions for dialogue.”

The Special Rapporteur also emphasized that “while recognizing the need to preserve public order and to investigate and punish those responsible for crimes and / or human rights violations, the resort to or use of the criminal proceedings should not be the ordinary way to deal with social unrest and protest, but should be applied as a last resort and should be limited strictly to the principle of urgent social necessity in a democratic society.”

We have no doubt that behind the arrest warrant against Santiago Manuin and other leaders, there are pressures that not only respond to a legal motivations, but also political motivations, which aim to criminalize social protest. Therefore, the citizens of the world, exercising our right and ethical duty to defend life and human rights against all types of abuse, ask through this open letter:

1.That investigations are initiated into the attempt on the life of Santiago Manuin Valera-ID 337600081, 52 years of age, and that the perpetrators and intellectual authors be punished.

2. That this Awajun leader be economically compensated, that an independent medical examination be carried out and that the State guarantees his safety and full recovery, assuming the costs of medical care for injuries suffered.

3. An end to the judicial harassment against Santiago Manuin, as well as other social leaders and effectively a change of the arrest order for a court appearance.

We reiterate our belief in the innocence of Santiago Manuin, to who we express all our solidarity.

To sign on to this statement email:
In the case of individuals, include the following information:
1) Name and Surname
2) Passport number
3) Country

In the case of organisations, please indicate:
1) Name of the organization
2) Country

You can also visit the following link:

And insert the following text:
El dirigente indígena Santiago Manuin recibió 8 impactos de bala, el 5 de junio, cuando intentaba frenar la violencia en Bagua. Hoy, el Poder Judicial ha ordenado su detención. Los derechos de nuestros hermanos de la amazonía deben ser respetados y sus demandas, escuchadas.
Ver Carta:

[The indigenous leader Santiago Manuin received 8 bullet wounds, on June 5, while trying to curb violence in Bagua. Today, the judiciary has ordered his arrest. The rights of our brothers in the Amazon must be respected and their demands heard.]
See open letter:

Please also send a copy to:

No comments:

Post a Comment