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Harper government hasn’t condemned massacre in Peru

The Georgia Straight reports that, “Stuart Trew says it’s ‘unbelievable’ that the Canadian government hasn’t condemned the recent massacre of indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon.”

“Foreign Affairs Canada has yet to make a statement condemning the massacre. The only official acknowledgment of the violence by the government of Canada took the form of a travel advisory for Peru, issued on June 15.”

“‘The silence in Canada has been incredible,’ Trew, the trade campaigner for the Council of Canadians, told the Straight today (June 18). Trew’s comments come a day after the Canadian Senate approved the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement, making it the first bilateral trade agreement ratified by Canada since 2002.”

“Canadian companies, especially in the mining, oil and gas, and banking sectors, play a role in the region. Calgary-based oil company Petrolifera has come under fire for activities in indigenous lands throughout the country. ‘About 50 percent of resource extraction in Peru is carried out by Canadian companies,’ said Trew.”

“’From the responses we’ve seen, Canadians are fed up with the government putting corporate rights above the rights of indigenous people and the environment,’ Trew said.”

“The (recent) violence (in Peru) was the state’s response to more than 50 days of peaceful protests against the implementing legislation of the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, which was ratified by the U.S. Congress in 2007.”

The Georgia Straight article can be read at http://www.straight.com/article-233864/canada-ratifies-peru-free-trade-agreement-stays-silent-amazon-massacre.

Video of the recent Council of Canadians-Rainforest Action Network demonstration outside the Petrolifera office in Calgary can be seen at http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=93259171574&h=IAFoj&u=rpLGc&ref=mf.

To read our action alert directed at senators, ‘ACTION ALERT: Canada must halt free trade agreement with Peru’, please go to http://canadians.org/action/2009/11-June-09.html.