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Peruvian indigenous leader seeks asylum

Alberto Pizango was charged with sedition following protests in the Amazon rainforest which turned violent

Source:  Copyright 2009, Guardian
Date:  June 10, 2009
Byline:  Rory Carroll
Original URL: Status ONLINE


A Peruvian indigenous leader has sought asylum in Nicaragua's embassy to escape sedition charges over anti-government protests in the Amazon which turned bloody last weekend.

Alberto Pizango, a leader in a campaign against oil and mining projects in the rainforest, slipped into the Nicaraguan embassy in Peru's capital, Lima, after an arrest warrant was issued on Saturday.

Meanwhile in the jungle hundreds and possibly thousands of Awajun and Wambis Indians hid from security forces who were retaking control after two days of mayhem which left dozens dead, including 23 police. Dodging a military curfew and round-ups, many protestors trekked back to remote villages.

Indigenous leaders said at least 40 protesters were killed, including several children, and alleged that security forces dumped other victims in mass graves and rivers to conceal the extent of the crackdown.

"The government appears to be destroying the bodies of slain ...

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