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For Immediate Release ]Contacts: Ana Maria Quispe (201) 463-0203 (English and Spanish)

6/12/09 Adam Weissman (718) 880-7979



Activists Accuse Schumer of Complicity in Peru Massacre

High-Definition Video of Protest and Blockade Online at

Released Activists and Indigenous Peruvian Activists Available for Interview

New York – Yesterday, between 1 and 3 PM three activists who on Wednesday shut down access to Senator Charles Schumer's office building at 757 3rd Avenue at 47th Street by chaining their necks to the doors of the building were released from Manhattan Central Booking on their own recognizance . Activists charge Schumer with complicity. in the murder of ass many as 250 indigenous Peruvians killed over the weekend in a wave of repression against indigenous people. engaged in nonviolent protest blockades against the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement which Peruvian President Alan Garcia has used a s a pretext to institue new laws that usher in an unprecedented wave of extractive industries -- expanding logging, oil and gas drilling, mining, and destructive agriculture into the Amazon Rainforest.

Members of TradeJustice NY Metro met with Schumer's staff twice before the Peru Free Trade Agreement vote, presenting him with reports from the Washington Office on Latin America predicting violence and instability if the agreement passed. The visits included representatives of indigenous Peruvian communities, who explained that the trade agreement would destroy their way of life. Nonetheless, Schumer voted for the agreement.

Accord to Peruvian indigenous activist Ana Maria Quispe, “Chuck Schumer, President Obama, and other politicians who supported the Peru Free Trade Agreement need to be held accountable for an agreement that they were warned would have disastrous human rights and environmental consequences. Unfortunately, they were more interested in serving the real beneficiaries of this agreement-- the same financial industry giants responsible for the current economic crisis. Schumer, President Obama, and other Democrats need to take responsibility for this disaster and repeal the Peru Free Trade Agreemnt.”

On Friday, Peru's police forces began what the Vice President of the UN Indigenous Forum has termed a “massacre” of Peruvian indigenous peoples engaged in a nonviolent blockade of a road outside of Bagua, in a remote area of the northern Peruvian Amazon. Several thousand indigenous people were forcibly dispersed by tear gas and real bullets shot and as many as 100 have died-- including three children. According to a local indigenous leader, police burning the dead indigenous people and dumped their remains into the Marańón River. 8 police officers were also killed in the ensuing melee.

Since April 9th communities throughout the Peruvian Amazon have been protesting new laws that usher in an unprecedented wave of extractive industries -- expanding logging, oil drilling, mining, and destructive agriculture into the Amazon Rainforest. President Alan García's government passed these laws under "fast track" authority he had received from the Peruvian congress to make laws to facilitate implementation of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement.

Over 30,000 indigenous people have taken to blockading roads, rivers, and railways to demand the repeal of these new laws that allow oil, mining, and logging companies to enter indigenous territories without seeking prior consultation or consent. The protests have led to disruptions of transport as well as the interruption of oil production.

As the largest municipal user of rainforest wood in North America, New York City bears direct responsibility in this crisis. Peru is the largest exporter of rainforest woods like ipe. Logging of tropical hardwoods, which creates access roads that facilitate land clearing for agriculture, is the single greatest contributing factor to the destruction of tropical rainforests.

In December 2007, Congressional Democratic leadership joined with Republicans to pass the Peru Free Trade Agreement, despite opposition from a majority of House Democrats. 10 out of 13 of New York City's House Reps and both New York Senators voted for the agreement.

Experts Available for Interview:

NYC Rainforest Wood Use: Tim Keating (917) 543-4064 NYS Procurement & Peru Free Trade: Jim Mays (845) 657 2013

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