Header image for news printout


10 June 2009

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, expresses his profound concern over the confrontations that took place on Friday, 5 June, in Bagua, Department of Amazonas, Peru, and subsequent occurrences, which have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 30 people, including indigenous individuals and members of the Armed Forces, and in dozens of wounded and missing. The Special Rapporteur expresses his sincere condolences for the victims and their families.

“I urgently appeal to all concerned to avoid further violence and urge State authorities to implement measures already in place, as well as adopt all additional measures necessary, in accordance with international human rights norms, to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the affected indigenous peoples,” said Mr. Anaya. In addition, the Special Rapporteur calls upon the State to seriously investigate all actions that could indicate human rights violations and bring those responsible to justice, as well as to ensure the non-repetition of similar acts. Likewise, he stresses to the indigenous individuals and peoples involved that their claims and protests should always be carried out in a peaceful manner and with respect for the human rights of others.

The Special Rapporteur also calls upon all of those involved to explore ways to reach an agreement based on dialogue, mutual understanding, tolerance and respect for human rights. “I emphasize the need for the Government and affected indigenous peoples to make renewed concerted efforts toward a resolution to the conflicts in the region in an open and transparent manner that facilitates dialogue, avoids violence, and respects human rights”.

Mr. Anaya expresses his willingness to visit the country to review the situation and contribute to the search for such a solution to the conflicts in the region, within the terms of his mandate by the United Nations Human Rights Council, to promote respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples.

Finally, the Special Rapporteur would like to express his concurrence with the previous statements on this issue made by the Latin American Regional Office of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and by the Public Defender of Peru.

On 26 March 2008, the Human Rights Council appointed Professor S. James Anaya of the United States as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people for an initial period of three years. Mr. Anaya is the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona.

For additional information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur please visit the following web page: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/rapporteur/

For use of the information media; not an official record