Poem for Bagua, Peru. ~James Pliny

Via on Mar 23, 2010

Bagua, Peru massacre, June 2009

This poem is about the events at Bagua in Peru last June and the excuses made and lies told by Peru’s government in response to it—excuses which are still being made and lies which are still being told today.

The people listed in the title were the officials in power at the time: President Alan Garcia, Prime Minister Simon, Minister of the Interior Mercedes Cabanillas, and Minister of Justice Aurelio Pastor. (Simon, Cabanillas and Pastor have now all lost their posts). Peruvian leader Alberto Pizango is still in exile in Nicaragua and there are ongoing calls for his safe return.

The poem is an adaptation of To whom it may concern by Adrian Mitchell. Think of this as a: To whom it may concern (Peru remix).

To whom it may concern (Garcia? Simon? Cabanillas? Pastor?)

Free trade shot me dead on the 5th of June.

Now I wear t-shirts made on the moon.

Say it was the Left who made them do it,

say the Church put them up to it,

say they didn’t know why they were there,

say they were too stupid to care,

and exile them to Nicaragua.

Tell me lies about Bagua.

Democracy shot me dead on an Amazon highway.

Now I have my own party, vote my way.

Say it was them who attacked,

say the police just fought back,

say it was the Left who made them do it,

say the Church put them up to it,

say they didn’t know why they were there,

say they were too stupid to care,

and exile them to Nicaragua.

Tell me lies about Bagua.

Progress shot me dead at the Devil’s Bend.

Now I earn money I’ve nowhere to spend.

Say it was the US’s fault, not yours,

say that was why you made the laws,

say it was them who attacked,

say the police just fought back,

say it was the Left who made them do it,

say the Church put them up to it,

say they didn’t know why they were there,

say they were too stupid to care,

and exile them to Nicaragua.

Tell me lies about Bagua.

Development shot me dead, left me there to bleed.

Now I see a doctor whenever I need.

Say it was a crime to have protested,

say they should all be arrested,

say it was the US’s fault, not yours,

say that was why you made the laws,

say it was them who attacked,

say the police just fought back,

say it was the Left who made them do it,

say the Church put them up to it,

say they didn’t know why they were there,

say they were too stupid to care,

and exile them to Nicaragua.

Tell me lies about Bagua.

Peru shot me dead, took me away in a bag.

Now I know how to die for a flag.

Say you’ll do a thorough investigation,

say you’ll give them compensation,

say it was a crime to have protested,

say they should all be arrested,

say it was the US’s fault, not yours,

say that was why you made the laws,

say it was them who attacked,

say the police just fought back,

say it was the Left who made them do it,

say the Church put them up to it,

say they didn’t know why they were there,

say they were too stupid to care,

and exile them to Nicaragua.

Tell me lies about Bagua.

In memory of all those who died.

We urge Peru’s government to cease misleading the global public about the events on 5th of June at Bagua, 2009, to cease its persecution of indigenous leaders, to permit the safe return of Alberto Pizango from Nicaragua,and to respect indigenous peoples’ rights to their land and ways of life.

Sign the petition here.

Please sign the poem on the link above, which can then be sent to Peru’s president on 5th of June to mark the one year anniversary.

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