Peruvian Journalist Suggests Napalming Amazonian Natives
posted on September 19th, 2009 in Amazon Jungle, Indigenous Rights, Peru
Survival International: Call for Napalm Bombing of ‘Savages’ in Peru’s Amazon Wins “Most Racist Article of the Year Award”
September 2, 2009
An article implying that Peruvian natives should be bombed with napalm has been named by London-based Survival International as the ‘most racist article’ published in the last year by the mainstream media.
The article, published by daily El Correo, was written the newspaper’s Director and columnist, Aldo Mariátegui.
In his column, Mariátegui refers to Amazon natives as “savages,” “Paleolithic,” and “primitive,” and writes that in protests that have recently engulfed much of Peru’s Amazon, they were manipulated by “communist excrement.”
“For those of you who still think of these “ethnic groups” as “good,” “naïve” and “pure,” I will remind you that it was these same people who perfected the art of shrinking the heads of their enemies and wearing them on the belts holding up their loincloths,” wrote Mariátegui. “If the “natives” didn’t shrink the heads of the policemen they killed (in the recent protests) and eat their remains, it was only because there wasn’t time.”
Mariátegui concluded by adding: “I don’t know what keeps the president from providing the air force with all the napalm necessary.”
The “most racist article of the year” award is part of Survival’s ‘Stamp it Out’ campaign which aims to challenge racist descriptions of indigenous peoples in the world’s media. The winner receives a certificate inscribed with a quotation from Lakota Sioux author Luther Standing Bear: “All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one.”
“This article makes depressing reading for anyone who thinks newspapers should educate and inform their readers. We hope the publicity this award receives will make the paper think twice before printing such offensive rubbish again,” said Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry.
Before dawn on June 5, 2009, violence erupted on a remote jungle highway in the Bagua province of Amazonas department after army helicopters, soldiers strategically positioned atop hills, and police began to throw tear gas grenades directly into the crowd of 5,000 protesters.
The tear gas caused panic and angered the protesters, who responded with violence. Police accused protesters of firing first, but the tribesmen denied having guns and Peru’s DA has confirmed that they only carried their traditional spears.
Despite the government’s attempt to link not only the Bagua clash but also a series of social protests in southern Peru to “outside interests”, leading political analysts and sociologists say the protests are home grown and lay the blame squarely on the central government’s procrastination in negotiating and solving issues.
In April, the Public Ombudsman, mentioning the dire lack of dialogue and pro-active decisions by the government, opened a special department to fill the gap, acting as a bridge to negotiate or at least listen to social demands and to bring both sides to the table.
For almost two months prior to what is locally referred to as the “baguazo,” Aidesep, and other Amazon groups demanded the repeal of several Executive decrees enacted last year to provide attractive investment conditions for the Free Trade Agreement signed with the United States, as well as other laws they contend infringe on their own territorial rights. Decree 1090, also known as the Forestry and Wildlife Law, is one of the most contentious, as it allows land to be sold if determined to be “of national interest.”
This decree, and several others written by the Executive last year, have been declared unconstitutional by two different Congressional commissions and the Public Ombudsman’s office, on the grounds that there was no prior consultation held with the indigenous communities who will be affected by the laws, contrary to the ILO’s Convention 169 on indigenous rights.
Congress did eventually repeal the laws on June 18, but not before 10 months of outright refusals followed by promises, postponements and backtracking that eventually led to the violent death of 24 police and 10 native protesters.
The following is a translation of the El Correo article:
‘The Poor Chunchos(1) and Other Idiocies’
El Correo, 13 June 2009
This country – I’m now positive – was founded on a reading of
Aristophanes and Kafka. It’s not really a country as such, but a sort of
pathetic tragi-comedy or depressing ‘como-tragedy’. Whichever you
prefer. Just look at recent, appalling events.
If it’s obvious that everything that’s happening in this unfortunate
country is deplorable (and I’m not talking about the football), then some
things are more deplorable than others. The most recent has been the
slaughter in the Amazon(2), thanks to a bunch of ignorant, primitive,
violent chunchos from the pre-agricultural age being egged on by crooks
and communists wanting to transform them into stupid half-wits in the
hope they will raise them to the dizzy heights of dictatorship and a
government of butchers and assassins.
Don’t dare call me a racist. It’s the chunchos who are racist. I heard one
of them, barely able to speak Spanish, saying that ‘five soldiers, four
natives and one mestizo’ had been killed. As if! Not even a dog-breeder
would dare claim that. Let’s also remember that AIDESEP(3) or whatever
its name is calls itself ‘inter-ethnic’, that’s to say, inter-racial. Another of
these Palaeolithics referred to the deaths of ‘three natives, four soldiers
and one civilian’. Isn’t that exquisite? Just as I suspected, it now turns out
that the chunchos (sorry! The natives) aren’t actually ‘civilians’ after all.
If someone tries to sue me for my supposed ‘racism’, I would warn them
that people from Juliaca4 have already tried and they didn’t succeed. In
any case, they would also have to sue the Illustrated Universal
Encyclopaedia, better known as Espasa, where it says in chapter 17, on
page 702, verbatim: ‘CHUNCHO: -CHA. Adj. Savage Indian living in
the Amazon. It is also used as a noun.’
So now you know. For those of you who still think of these ‘ethnic
groups’ as ‘good’, ‘naïve’ and ‘pure’, I’ll remind you that it was these
same people who perfected the art of shrinking the heads of their enemies
and wearing them on the belts holding up their loincloths.(5) They couldn’t
do that with Congress. Their heads couldn’t be shrunk any more than they
already are. Anyway, if the ‘natives’ didn’t shrink the heads of the
policemen they killed and eat their remains, it was only because there
Not only that, these chunchos – who I’ve seen wearing well-made
Lacoste t-shirts and polo shirts, as well as Adidas trainers – say that oil –
which belongs to all Peruvians – shouldn’t be exploited if it lies under
what they call ‘their’ land. What a cheek! They’re against logging for the
same reason. And to cap it all, they don’t want to pay taxes. Perfect!
What do these policeman-murdering wretches think that the factories
whose products they wear run on? Water? How do they think the
medicines and hospitals, which you demand free-of-charge, are
produced? As far as I’m concerned, they can get f**k*d, loincloths and
And I haven’t mentioned the ‘cosmovision’ excuse that these chunchos
now trot out at every opportunity. They can barely speak Spanish, their
native languages don’t run to more than eighty words, and now they
understand the concept of ‘cosmovision’ and expect the rest of Peru to
respect theirs? And you’re telling me there are no ‘progressives’ or
Humala6 supporters behind all this?
I’m now organizing a protest that will be followed by the killing of
policemen in Arequipa(7). For those who don’t know, according to the
‘cosmovision’ of those of us from Arequipa, all those from Moquegua8
and Tumbes9 now living in ‘our’ territory should be castrated. The
government should respect our cosmobiology.
I’ve also heard the leaders – the quieter ones – ‘demanding’ talks with the
government. What for, for f**k’s sake? Why should these people, who
voted in the last elections for those who now make the laws, be
‘consulted’? Are the ‘Damned of the Cono Norte’(10) also going to demand
talks to abolish the Penal Code?
And I haven’t mentioned the three ‘native people with definite ethnic
features’ (the official definition of ‘Indian’, I see, so I can avoid being
called a racist) – the three starlets of the parliamentary sewers who are
currently running, in Congress, the kind of carnival you would normally
find in Puño(11). I’m talking about the Congresswomen who I believe are
called Supaypahuahua, Cachachanca and Hatunracca(12). I hope they’ll
forgive me, but I’m not very good at remembering names and I don’t
speak a word of Quechua or Aymara (or Witoto, or Mayoruna, or Jivaro
or Aguaruna, for that matter).(13)
Is there still anyone in Peru who doesn’t see that behind this jungle
brothel lies communist excrement and turd from Humala supporters ready
to bring down the present government and replace it, using force, with a
Bolivarian Socialist Republic of Peru? Does anyone still doubt that
behind all this is the dung with ears (‘Chavez’ is what they call it),
pulling Humala’s strings? And have you seen that sad, forgotten
opportunist Javier Diez Canseco,(14) getting support for the Aguaruna? He
is, literally, dancing on one leg. The only thing that these people are sorry
about is that more policemen died than chunchos. That doesn’t help.
Who do you believe indoctrinated that pseudo-native chuncho, the one
wearing the ridiculous feathered hat, to organise the entire slaughter and
then escape over the rooftops like the rat that he is(15) (I hope the rats
forgive me for the comparison)? – with the help, no less, of the
Huarilloccllas and the Choquecallatas in Congress, who should be
chained and thrown into the coldest, dampest dungeon in Lurigancho.(16)
And to add to our misfortune, all this will go on . . . and on. I don’t know
what keeps the president from providing the air-force with all the napalm
See you next time.
N.B.: I’m still waiting for the honest members of Congress to tell me they
rejected their salary increase of 2,000 plus soles.(17)
1 Offensive Spanish slang used to refer to indigenous people in the Amazon.
2 On June 5 of this year, armed police attacked indigenous protesters in Bagua, northern
Peru. More than thirty people, including both policemen and civilians, were killed.
3 AIDESEP, Peru’s national organisation for indigenous people in the Amazon,
coordinated the protest in Bagua with other protests elsewhere in Peru.
4 A town in southern Peru.
5 Head-shrinking was a custom of some indigenous peoples in northern Peru. It is no
6 Ollanta Humala ran for president in 2006 and lost to Alan García. He is the leader
of the Peruvian Nationalist Party.
7 A city in southern Peru.
8 A city in southern Peru.
9 A city in northern Peru.
10 A district in Lima, Peru’s capital city.
11 A city in southern Peru.
12 The three Congresswomen are actually called Hilaria Supa Huamán, Yaneth
Cajahuanca Rosales and Juana Aidé Huancahuari.
13 Indigenous peoples and languages in Peru.
14 Javier Diez Canseco stood for president in 2006.
15 A reference to AIDESEP’s president, Alberto Pizango who, following the violence
in Bagua, has been charged with ‘sedition and rebellion’ and has sought asylum in
16 A prison in Lima.
17 Peru’s currency is ‘nuevo soles’.