June 18 Press Conference: Peruvian government violently represses protesters protecting Amazon; Free Trade Agreements, including the Canada-Peru FTA, endangering the Amazon
Since April 9, mass mobilizations and protests led by Indigenous people in Peru have sought to protect the Amazon from exploitation (mining, oil and gas extraction, logging) linked with free trade laws passed in Peru. On June 5, the government’s security forces attacked a peaceful blockade, leading to bloodshed on both sides (estimated 30-100 killed, over 100 injured). Is this what free trade looks like? Bill C-24 is currently before the Canadian Senate to implement the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
What: Press Conference on the situation in Peru and links to Canada
When: 11:00 am, Thursday June 18
Where: Charles Lynch room, Centre Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa
- Ben Powless: Returned from Peru on Monday, where he had investigated the scene of the violence and gone into the Amazon, and where he was working with AIDESEP, an organization that represents 1,350 communities comprising some 600,000 Amazon Indians. He is active on Indigenous and environmental issues, including with IPSMO and the Indigenous Environmental Network.
- Robert Lovelace: Spent time in an Ontario jail for his opposition to uranium exploration and mining on Indigenous land in Eastern Ontario. Former co-chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.
- Verda Cook: Trade campaigner at the Polaris Institute. The Polaris Institute is a public interest research and advocacy organization designed to enable citizen action on energy, environment, and trade issues.
Please also note: IPSMO is holding a protest outside the Peruvian Embassy (130 Albert St, Ottawa) between 11:30am-1:30pm on Thursday June 18.(Great photo op!)
Contact: Greg Macdougall, 613-656-5498, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports from Ben Powless: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ben-powless
Press Release: http://canadians.org/media/trade/2009/11-June-09.html