In Peru, seven police officers are dead and 20 people are wounded after indigenous protests in Bagua Grande Amazonas turned violent on Wednesday. The protestors, at it since April 9, are pressuring President Alan García to “modify or strike down” decrees issued last year that facilitate commercial investment in, and access to, the Amazon basin.
A parliamentary vote earlier this week nearly repealed one of the controversial decrees, but a walk-out by members of García’s Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA) party blocked the final vote.
Criticism of García’s position is coming from both domestic and international groups, including local Catholic bishops and the London-based Survival International. García has responded with the assertion that “the riches of Peru belong to all Peruvians.” Others warn that repealing the decrees could endanger the free trade agreement between Peru and the United States.