Saturday, 4 July 2009

Peru: No Disappeared in Bagua?

The Peruvian ombudsman (Defensoria del Pueblo) has concluded that there are no indigenous disappeared in the region of Bagua following last month's violence.

You can read the full report on events here (PDF, large file, Spanish language) or check out the briefer press release from this page (PDF, 120/09/OCII/DP), which gives the official figures as 33 dead, 200 injured, and 83 detained of whom 18 remain in detention. Also Peruvian blogs on the subject, pointing out that the figures are based on interviews and not a comprehensive survey of the area, thus cannot be regarded as conclusive.

No Amazonian Indigenous Disappeared in Bagua, Peru Ombudsman's Report Says
(Living in Peru)

No hay mas desparecidos tras hechos de violencia en la selva peruana (El Comercio)

I can't comment on the figures with any accuracy, but the numbers of dead civilians is said to be ten, which seems very low (the other 23 in the figure of 33 were police officers), and thus I would conclude that the possibility of disappeared really cannot be ruled out, despite this report. As most of the links above are in Spanish, I would suggest that English speakers go and watch this five minute video on the Guardian website detailing a little of the background to the protests and including descriptions of torture and mentions of disappeared people.


Silvio Rendon said...

Thanks for the links. Definitely, the report of the Ombudsman's office does not add up, and contradicts former statements of interviewed witnesses of the bloodshed in Bagua.

Now the Peruvian government is using it to discredit the NGOs, such as Amazon Watch and Survival, that informed the world about the massacre of Bagua and Imacita, where many natives and policemen sadly died.

Lillie Langtry said...

Absolutely Silvio. Much of the rhetoric around Bagua is being used as part of the government's constant campaign against various NGOs, which is very worrying.

Derek Wall said...

I have been sent a list of those who have disappeared