The Bolivian government accused Peruvian President Alan García on Monday of auctioning Peru’s natural resources to transnational companies and repressing his country’s indigenous population.
The accusations from Iván Canelas, Bolivia’s presidential spokesman, were made in response to a statement from García over the weekend that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez orders Bolivian President Evo Morales to verbally attack Peru. Canelas authored a piece in a Bolivian state-run newspaper claiming that García intervenes in other country’s foreign affairs to detract attention from Peru’s internal problems.
Morales has long condemned the García government’s decrees ending certain restrictions on mining and oil drilling in regions inhabited by native Amazonian people. On December 30, the Peruvian Awajún leader responsible for coordinating an investigation into the June deaths of 33 indigenous protesters said he would not sign the final report because it was biased. The protesters were demonstrating against the opening of rainforest land to oil, mining and logging companies. International analysts are also concerned that the root causes of the conflict that took place between indigenous protesters and police near Bagua have not been addressed.
Venezuela’s foreign ministry also issued a statement denouncing García for provoking regional division.