Indigenous organisation says Ombudsman's report not 'definitive'

July 7, 2009

Armed police attack indigenous protesters in northern Peru, June 5 2009. © Thomas Quirynen

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Peru’s leading Amazon Indigenous organisation has stated that the report by Peru’s Ombudsman on the recent violence in the rainforest is not ‘definitive’.

‘The Ombudsman only visited 22% of the Awajún and Wampis communities,’ said a statement from AIDESEP. ‘In total there are 181 communities, but the Ombudsman visited 39.’

The Ombudsman’s report concluded that twenty-three policemen, five ‘civilians’, and five ‘Indigenous people’ were killed, and that no one has ‘disappeared’, as initial reports had claimed. Peru’s government has seized on the Ombudsman’s report as conclusive evidence that there were no disappearances.

AIDESEP’s acting leader, Daysi Zapata Fasabi, said that the definitive investigation into the number of Indigenous people who have disappeared will be carried out by a Truth Commission, established in the aftermath of the recent violence. Meanwhile, AIDESEP has threatened to withdraw from talks with the government if it continues with its political persecution of Peru’s Indigenous peoples and fails to fulfil its promises.

Read Survival's eyewitness report of the violence. 

Watch Survival's film featuring interviews with the eyewitnesses.