It’s been difficult to sort out from the international news exactly what is going on in Peru right now but Agence France Presse gives this recent report:
“Peruvian lawmakers suspended a controversial law that eased restrictions on lumber harvesting in the Amazon rain forest, days after it sparked clashes between police and indigenous protesters, killing dozens of people. The legislature agreed by a 59 to 49 vote to suspend Decree 1090 — dubbed the “Law of the Jungle” — that covers forestry and fauna in Peru’s northeastern Amazon rain forest, said Javier Velasquez, the head of Peru’s single-chamber Congress. A decree related to governing private investment also was suspended. The decrees are vehemently opposed by the approximately half-million Indians of 65 ethnic groups who live in the Peruvian jungle. The natives, who see the development of the jungle as an assault on their way of life, have been holding protests since April across the region.
The Amazon protest peaked Friday and Saturday when some 400 police officers moved in to clear protesters blocking a highway near the northern city of Bagua. Protesters fought back, then retaliated by killing police hostages. According to the government, 25 police officers and nine Indian protesters died in the clashes. Protest leaders and media reports however insist the death toll is much higher.
The decrees were originally to be suspended for 90 days, but in the final vote legislators agreed on an indefinite suspension “to negotiate without pressure,” said Aurelio Pastor, a legislator with President Alan Garcia’s APRA party.
Both measures are among decrees issued in 2007 and 2008 by Garcia easing restrictions on mining, oil drilling, logging and farming in the Peruvian Amazon. Garcia issued the laws when Congress granted him special powers to implement a free-trade agreement with the United States.”