Peru PM to quit over land disputes

Move follows deadly clashes between police and indigenous groups over land laws.

    Peru's indigeous groups were furious at the land laws passed by the government [AFP]

    Special powers

    Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo said that Simon's move means the Peruvian president will not have to think twice and consult the indigenous leaders on what will happen in the Amazon in the future.

    In video

    Deadly clashes rock Peru in fight over jungle land

    Alan Garcia, the Peruvian president, whose approval rating stands at 30 per cent, had issued a series of decrees last year using special powers that congress had given him to implement a free-trade agreement with the US.

    Peru's indigenous leaders launched strikes in April, saying that the government did not consult them in good faith before signing contracts that could affect at least 30,000 people across six of the nation's provinces.

    There were reports that the strikes were easing in the roads and riverways of north-eastern Peru on Tuesday, while an important east-west highway was reopened on Monday.

    Repercussions

    Antonio Brack, Peru's environment minister, said on Monday that the government would ask congress to repeal the land laws, after a delegation led by Simon met indigenous leaders in the central Peruvian Amazon jungle town of Mazamari.

    Brack said the government also offered to end a state of emergency and the curfew in Amazonas state, where the bulk of the confrontations occurred.

    Repercussions from the violence have rocked the government, with Carmen Vildoso, the women's affairs minister, also resigning last week following the government's crackdown on protesters.

    Last Wednesday Nicaragua granted political asylum to a protest leader charged with sedition.

    Alberto Pizango had accused the Peruvian government of "genocide" following Friday's clashes.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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