29 killed in police crackdown on Peru protesters

June 6th, 2009 - 4:43 am ICT by IANS  

Lima, June 6 (DPA) At least 29 people, including 22 civilians and seven police officers, were killed Friday in the northern Peruvian region of Amazonas in a police crackdown on indigenous people demanding land rights.
Leaders of indigenous communities confirmed the deaths of 22 Indios, which they blamed on the government of Peruvian President Alan Garcia. There were some reports of 25 deaths. The government did not provide any figures.

The violence took place when police used force to end a road blockade near the town of Bagua, part of a strike by indigenous groups for close to two months. The Indios were demanding the revocation of laws that impact their claims on land.

Police Director Jose Sanchez Farfan initially confirmed that four police officers died in the fracas. Authorities later increased the number of dead police officers to seven, while some reports said that there could be as many as 10.

The Indios denied shooting at the police, arguing that they didn’t have firearms.

There were riots in Bagua, where several public buildings were reportedly set on fire.

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