|09LIMA866||2009-06-17 22:34:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Lima|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 000866
1. (C) Summary. The multi-sector working group established to
hold dialogue between indigenous groups and the central and
regional governments met for the first time June 16 (refs).
On June 17, the Prime Minister and working group
representatives delivered to Congress the government's
proposal to repeal the two controversial decrees that sparked
the protests. Congress is scheduled to vote -- and likely to
approve -- the proposal June 18. Indigenous leaders have
called for an end to protests, and while some appear to be
coming to a close, those in Andahuaylas and Cusco drag on.
Dialogue With Indigenous Leaders Begins
2. (SBU) On June 16th, the multi-sector working group
established to hold dialogue between indigenous groups and
the central and regional governments met for the first time.
The press reported that the group discussed health and
education issues relevant to Amazonian communities. The
session ended with media images of warm embraces between the
two sides. Afterwards, repeating a statement made earlier by
President Garcia, PM Simon announced that all agreements
reached by the group would be binding on the government.
Proposal to Revoke Decrees in Congress
3. (C) On June 17th, the Prime Minister and representatives
from the working group delivered to Congress the government's
proposal to repeal the two controversial presidential decrees
that originally sparked the protest. Congress will
reportedly debate the proposal on June 18th, and observers
say the proposal will almost certainly pass. The Nationalist
Party, which has been calling for repeal for weeks, promised
to support the proposal while also suggesting it may demand
the reinstatement of seven party Congresspeople suspended for
protesting in Congress the previous week. Staffers for a
suspended PNP Congresswoman told us this demand would not be
a condition for voting to repeal the decrees.
Some Protests Ebb, Some Continue
4. (C) The indigenous group Aidesep, which initially led the
Amazonian protests, called on June 16 for an end to remaining
protests, in light of the government's decision to repeal the
decrees. The press reports that protestors blocking the road
to the Amazonian town Yurimaguas are preparing to return to
their communities, but will wait until the decrees are
finally rescinded before actually departing. Protestors are
allowing cars to pass during six hours each day.
5. (C) Meanwhile, protests in the southern Andean city
Andahuaylas -- where 5,000 protestors seized control of the
tiny airport -- entered the seventh day. The mayor informed
us that the protest there was launched by the radical union
Sutep, whose local leader is a former Shining Path member, to
show solidarity with the Amazonian protests and in the hopes
that other Andean towns would follow suit. He said the
protest appears to be losing momentum, and hoped that a
dialogue to be established on June 18th between local leaders
and government representatives will reestablish order.
Roadblocks also continue around Cusco.