The call was in response to military mobilisation to suppress protests and the suspension of civil liberties for two months. Protesters from 65 indigenous tribes had blocked roads and waterways, preventing 40 ships from loading goods for export and causing oil exports to fall by more than half.
The dispute centres on a decision by the Peruvian government to allow international companies the use of 92,000 square kilometres of the indians’ communal rainforest, in line with a freetrade agreement with the US.
Indians claim this breaks an International Labour Organisation agreement that requires the government to consult with them about any development of their land.
Their complaint is supported by a wide cross-section of social groups, including the International Federation of Human Rights, the Catholic church and the Peruvian ombudsman.