Monday, 25 January 2010

President of Peru closes a television station for showing images of his government's repression against indigenous peoples

Gonzalo Sánchez - Tercera Información, January 22, 2010

During the summer the government of Alan Garcia ordered the National Directorate of Special Operations (DINOES) to attack without regard the indigenous population in Bagua who were protesting against the Free Trade Agreement. The result was dozens of indigenous people killed, missing and hundreds injured, some policemen dead and two journalists killed.

The indigenous protestors were trying to prevent the privatization of the Amazon, as the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) establishes that the natural resources of the Peruvian Amazon will be privatized. Alan Garcia whilst calling for negotiation ordered the massacre of the Indians who were protesting.

Now, months later, a television channel not compliant with the rightist government of Garcia was eliminated from the air. The network, called Radio Oriente, is based in the north of the country, and has broadcast videos of the massacre, which Alan García didn’t like, and for which he revoked its license claiming the channel had not acquired the necessary equipment to transmit the year after getting it's license.

Radio Oriente responed that it received permission for the equipment 2006, which was confirmed in 2007.

The ombudsman has asked for explanations from various sectors and branded this as an attack on freedom of expression.

Alan García also suspended for 120 days several MPs and sanctioned others in different ways for supporting the struggles of indigenous peoples. Many of these members belong to the Peruvian Nationalist Party, of opposition leader Ollanta Humala.

Repbulished from Tercera Información, translated by Kiraz Janicke for Peru en Movimiento

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