The Peruvian parliament has suspended two land-use laws that sparked deadly clashes last week, but indigenous groups have vowed to continue protesting.
The legislation outlines a plan on how to regulate investment in the Amazon, but opponents say it encourages mining and energy firms to exploit the jungle, was passed without consultation and violates indigenous rights. President Alan Garcia said he won’t, under any circumstances, give in to blackmail by small groups that don’t represent his country. But the indigenous people fear the law will free up more than half of Peru’s jungle for development and allow companies to extract resources without the approval of local communities. “We won’t suspend the strike, we will continue to the end. As you have heard, the measures have only been suspended for 90 days, that’s not what we, the indigenous population, want. We will get together and continue fighting,” said indigenous leader Efrain Pizango. The violence at the weekend was the worst in more than a decade and has derailed government plans to further open up the mineral-rich country to foreign investment, particularly with the United States.