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June 05, 2009

A Terrifying Way to Start the Weekend

Report are in that Peruvian police have massacred at least 20 indigenous people who have been protesting FTA-related policies that give concessions to corporations without consent or consultation of indigenous communities.Peru

According to Reuters:

At least 20 people died and 50 were injured Friday in clashes between Peruvian police and Amazon tribes opposed to foreign companies opening oil wells and mines in the rainforest.

Indigenous leaders accused police of shooting at hundreds of protesters from helicopters to end a road block on a remote jungle highway 870 miles from Lima, the capital.

Police said the protesters fired first, but the tribesmen denied having guns and said they only bore their traditional spears.

Tribal leaders said a dozen protesters were killed, while the interior ministry said eight officers died in protests over the government's push to open up Peru to foreign investment. It was the first round of severe violence since demonstrations started in April.

"There are 12 dead ... from bullets shot from helicopters," indigenous leader Alberto Pizango told reporters in Lima.

Check back soon for more details on the mobilizations and more analysis on how the U.S.- Peru FTA started this horrifying chain of events into motion. Let's keep the families, and the causes for which their loved ones died, in our thoughts this weekend.

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