By John Vibes
Police and military agents in Peru have been given the green light to kill government protesters on site
PERU (INTELLIHUB) — Law 30151, passed earlier this year in Peru, gives government agents a license to kill environmental protesters. The law states that members of the armed forces and the National Police are “exempt from criminal responsibility” if they cause injury or death to a protester while on duty. This exception is especially alarming considering the fact that Peru has a terrible human rights record when it comes to dealing with civil unrest.
The Dublin-based NGO Front Line Defenders recently said in a statement that:
“All documented instances of intimidation, death threats, physical attacks, surveillance, stigmatisation, smear campaigns, and judicial harassment appear to be directly related to legitimate and peaceful work, in particular in supporting. . . local communities opposed to mining projects and their impact on their environment, territory and livelihood.”
Juan José Quispe of the Lima based group, the Instituto Libertad y Democracia recently spoke to The Guardian about the dangers of this new law.
“We continue considering this law as one that grants the armed forces as well as the national police a license to kill,” Quispe said. “It permits a high degree of impunity. During the repression of social protests, police officers and soldiers who cause injuries or deaths will now be exempt from criminal responsibility.”
“It’s a dangerous law and constitutes a threat to everyone. It permits the use of weapons by contravening existing law and international parameters such as the United Nations’ Principles. It gives soldiers and police officers a carte blanche to commit crimes with impunity.” he added.
Much of the environmental protesting that is going on involves the strong-arm robbery of land and property that is being carried out by local governments and foreign corporations. Every few years when people decide to fight back against this tyranny, the government reacts brutally and they typically stage a massacre on the resisting population.
Five years ago, 33 people died in a bloody battle between police and environmental protesters in the Amazonian region of Bagua. The conflict broke out because a new law allowing mining companies to enter indigenous territories without the community’s consent was passed by the government, stripping the native population from their rightfully owner property. This is an unfortuantely common circumstance in Peru, and throughout most of Central and South America.
John Vibes is an investigative journalist, staff writer and editor for Intellihub News where this article originally appeared. He is also the author of an 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” and is an artist with an established record label. You can find him on his Facebook.
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