Peru congress overturns land laws

Move follows deadly clashes between police and indigenous groups that left many dead.

    The laws had sparked angry protests against
    the government in Peru [Robin Yu]

    Earlier reports had said as many as 60 people had been killed in the violence.

    On Tuesday, Yehude Simon, the Peruvian prime minister, also said he would step down over the crisis.

    Simon's decision followed the resignation of Carmen Vildoso, Peru's women's affairs minister, in protest against the government's crackdown on the demonstrations.

    Asylum

    The measure was approved 82-12 after a five-hour debate in Peru's single-chamber legislature, attended by about 30 Amazon native Indians of the Ashanika community.

    In video

    Deadly clashes rock Peru in fight over jungle land

    The protesters had said the laws would make it easier for businesses to exploit their ancestral Amazon lands for oil, gas and other ventures.

    The protests erupted into bloody clashes June 5 and 6 after police were sent in to clear blockaded roads around Bagua, 1000 km north of Lima.

    At least 24 police and 10 protesters were killed in two days of
    clashes.

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

    Alberto Pizango, who arrived in Nicaragua on Wednesday, had accused the Peruvian government of "genocide" following Friday's clashes.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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