About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Peru to Iglesia Catolica: Massacre Was Your Fault

Yesterday the head of the Peruvian Bishops Conference rejected accusations from a commission set up to investigate the June 5 violence near Bagua (1,000 KM NE of Lima) that the Church and people associated with the Church precipitated the violence. A nun sitting on the investigative commission has refused to sign the document, and the Bishops as well as activist organizations have condemned the report for ignoring the actual violence from the police. Amazon Watch and Democracy Now discuss a number of disappeared as well. Hidden, no doubt, in a cloister some where (Snark).

What I find interesting is a paraphrase of the report written up in Noticias de Prensa Latina that says:
El documento sostiene que que los nativos fueron engañados y manipulados por intereses extranjeros y sectores opositores, religiosos y organizaciones no gubernamentales, que les hicieron creer que los decretos en cuestión iba a privarlos de sus tierras.
This sounds like a page out of the cold war from Guatemala and El Slavador to Brazil and Chile. I knew Alan Garcia was old school, but who knew he was going to use form letter reports from the Cold War. Are these in a surplus "Operation Condor" file drawer somewhere? Outside agitators tricked the peasantry into thinking the central state, logging companies, mines, and oil companies didn't have their best interests at heart? Wow, that must have been a really hard line to sell to the Indians of the Peruvian Amazon. (Extra snark).

The liberation Church is alive and well in the Andes, and that includes not only Ecuador and Bolivia, but it seems Peru as well. It sounds like Garcia is ready to engage in a PR war against the Catholic Church, but I wonder how far he will push it.

Death threats are already being leveled against the Amazonas persecutor involved in investigating the case, Marleny Luz Rojas Méndez, says LivinginPeru. Would it be to far-fetched to imagine that threats will start appearing for religious agitators next? This situation is going nowhere good, fast.

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