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Activists Celebrate Victory After Peru Drops ‘Genocide Bill’

Activists welcomed on Saturday the decision by lawmakers to drop plans for a new law labelled a “Genocide Bill” by Peru’s indigenous people.

In a dramatic reversal of fortune, the country’s Decentralisation Committee blocked the law on a Friday which had been drafted by politicians with close ties to the powerful oil and gas industry.

Teresa Mayo of Survival International described this as “a huge victory for Peru’s Indigenous peoples, their organisations, and for thousands of ordinary people around the world who had joined the campaign against the proposals.”

Indigenous organisations in Peru, such as the Inter-ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP) and the Regional Organisation of the Indigenous Peoples of the East (Orpio), had lobbied intensively to stop the Bill, and more than 13,000 Survival supporters had written to the committee, urging them to block it.

The Bill would have opened up indigenous lands for industrial exploitation.

Tabea Casique of AIDESEP said: “The scrapping of the draft Bill protects our uncontacted relatives, their rights and their lives and avoids the genocide and ecocide that it would have unleashed.”

Roberto Tafur of Orpio said they intended to “continue fighting for our brothers and sisters in the jungle, who don’t know that we’re fighting for them.”

Source : Morning Star