Video reveals alleged police abuse against indigenous people in protest that left 3 dead

Video reveals alleged police abuse against indigenous people in protest that left 3 dead

LIMA – Eight months after three indigenous Peruvians died and another ten were injured in a protest during the occupation of an oil plant, the publication of a video with images of the events confirmed the abuses committed by the police, who fired at point-blank range against the Amazonian natives.

The images, captured by a security camera of the Canadian oil company PetroTal against which the natives were protesting, were released by the Regional Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO) of Peru after having been provided by the Requena Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the case. .

The events date back to the night of August 9, 2020, when the indigenous people, of the Kukama ethnic group, and inhabitants of the Puinahua district, in the Loreto region, protested against the company to demand 24-hour electricity, drinking water supply, drainage, education, health, and a share of the oil profits.

The images show a large group of Kukamas armed with spears and gathered in front of the entrance to the PetroTal facilities in Lot 95, a field in the middle of the Amazon jungle from which crude has been extracted since 2018.

On the other side, there are about twenty police officers who prevent the natives from entering the facilities and protect representatives of the company who had entered into a dialogue with the protesters.

After tensions rose, the Kukamas decided to break into the PetroTal facilities abruptly and suddenly, generating a series of struggles with the Police where, in a matter of seconds, firearms were fired, leaving two natives lying on the ground. soil.

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While the rest of the protesters, some already wounded, retreat due to the launch of tear gas, the Police beat the wounded who were still on the floor, leaving them momentarily without attention while one of them writhed in pain.

At a later time in the evening, company workers collect one of the inert bodies that had been left on the company’s grounds and put it on a river ship.

For the indigenous people, the video shows that the then Minister of the Interior, Jorge Montoya, lied by stating that it was the natives who started the confrontation by firing pellet guns at the policemen.

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“The false information made by the minister is totally ruled out,” said the president of the Indigenous Association for the Development and Conservation of Lower Puinahua (Aidecobap) and one of the protest leaders, James Pérez.

“He said that we were armed with firearms and that we had fired first at the police and that they, in self-defense, had countered the shots. That was totally disrupted yesterday,” he added.

The video also seems to maintain that the police officers used lethal weapons to contain demonstrations, something that is not initially contemplated in their action protocol.

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“The images do not lie. You can see the cruelty with which the National Police acted to kill us. That is our humble opinion. The images are horrendous and leave much to be desired regarding the actions of the Police,” said Pérez.

The leader of the Puinahua Kukamas regretted that little progress has been made in the promises made by the government to raise the protest.

At the moment the only thing that has been achieved, according to Pérez, is that they have achieved the company’s commitment to supply the municipality with electricity for 20 hours a day, since in much of the Amazon, electricity must be generated from oil.

“The only thing we hope is that justice will be done for the brothers who have died. There are still 10 injured and orphaned children and families who continue to suffer for the loss of their loved ones,” Perez recalled.

“To this day there is not a single defendant. Nothing has actually been advanced, but justice will arrive sooner or later, because we will go if necessary to international jurisdiction with the aim of seeking the truth and that this comes out to the light once and for all, “he concluded.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.