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Trade On The Trail #7

350,000 indigenous people in Peru say "No FTA"

This week, the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) sent a letter to Congress (PDF in both English and Spanish) urging members to oppose the Peru FTA, which currently is scheduled to come up for a floor vote next Wednesday. AIDESEP, "Peru’s largest national organization of Amazonian indigenous communities, representing over 350,000 indigenous persons from 1,350 communities spanning 16 different linguistic groups and six regional organizations located in Peru’s Amazon," says:

"We are convinced that the FTA will give incentives for further and irreversible destruction of virgin rainforest, which will in turn increase global warming and displace our communities from their home territories. This is an absolutely unacceptable outcome for our planet, and particularly for the territory where our communities live, as we collectively work to reduce the threat of global warming.

"...the Peru FTA, if approved, would threaten every aspect of our livelihoods and sustainable development program. We are very preoccupied that the administration of President Alan García is auctioning off Peru’s Amazon at a breakneck speed to foreign firms ranging from Hunt Oil to Occidental Petroleum and beyond. Already by 2004, as the FTA was just being negotiated, only 15 percent of Peru’s Amazon was zoned for oil, gas and mining – today, that figure is near 70 percent. (See enclosed map for more detail.)

"...Provisions contained in the Peru FTA are directly incentivizing this massive takeover that is threatening our livelihoods and leading to irreversible destruction of virgin rainforest." [emphasis in original]

The map that is referred to is this one, which we've posted before as it tells a remarkably disturbing story.

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