I have seen a lot of footage from the Indian uprising in Peru’s Amazon, primarily in the town of Bagua, but I have found nothing quite like this. The following videos were taken by an independent film crew which places the viewer in the middle of the police siege as it unfolds. Not only do you begin to comprehend the massive fire power of the police, but you realize that it is not being used to contain or stop the Indian protests, but to murder Indians. After watching the second video, you understand that what’s taking place is state-sponsored terrorism and Garcia’s use of a 500 year old policy of race hatred in Latin America is what fuels it.
Since April 9th communities in the Peruvian Amazon have been protesting new laws passed by President Alan Garcia’s government that usher in the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and authorize an unprecedented wave of extractive industries into the Amazon Rainforest. Over 30,000 indigenous people have been blockading roads, rivers, and railways to demand the repeal of these new laws that allow oil, mining and logging companies to enter indigenous territories without seeking their prior consultation or consent as required under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
During the past week, confrontations between non-violent indigenous protesters and police have left over 100 people dead. The vast majority of the casualties are civilians, who have been conducting peaceful demonstrations in defense of the Amazon rain forest.
As you look at the footage on the videos you see the brutality leveled by the police at the Indians. Whether apprehending the protesters or interrogating them, the primary technique used by the police is humiliation. The brutality is brazen and unapolgetic especially in one scene where an Indian, lying on the ground, is kicked repeatedly in the head by police as if his head is a soccer ball. Only hatred can make a person do that. And this is what Alan Garcia is counting on. Over the last several weeks Garcia has made provocative, racist comments before the media so there is no mistake in what he is saying. He stated that Indians are “not first-class citizens” and that “small groups” cannot interfere with the needs of “development.” Garcia is boldly telling the world that the Indians of Peru are not worthy of consultation with the government. They are of another race and, therefore, somehow sub-human.
Of course the irony and reality of all this is that most of the police have Indian blood running through their veins and have spent most of their lives trying to pretend otherwise. Racism causes people to hate others based on what they look like. It also causes people to hate themselves if they are a member of a hated group. The result is that the part that a person hates about themselves motivates them to demonstrate to those in groups with which they wish to be aligned that they are willing to crush the Indians, crush the Africans, crush the Dalits, and so on.
Being a member of a national police force, with orders to “wipe out” an Indian uprising, is a hell of a good opportunity to drain out some of that hated Indian blood. State-sponsored terrorism is based on this kind of cannibalism. Five hundred years ago, the Spaniards knew if they did not pit red, brown and black at each other, the Spaniards would be the ones massacred. In Bagua, the cops are the tools, the technique is racial hatred, and President Garcia is the master craftsman. What the police don’t realize is that they have much more in common with the Indians than Garcia. And what Garcia doesn’t realize is that he is not white.
The footage is divided into two separate videos, Part I about 8 minutes long and Part II is approximately 6:30 minutes long.
Bagua Massacre: Part I
Bagua Massacre: Part II