The amazon basin occupation: an historical and spatial approach to the economic patters and (re) composition of amazon region in peru

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Research Paper
The Amazon Basin Occupation: An Historical and Spatial Approach to the Economic Patters and (Re) Composition of Amazon Region in Peru

ESL 501
Instructor: Elizabeth Thacker

Author: Luis Escobedo

December 7th, 2010
The Amazon Basin Occupation: An Historical and Spatial Approach to the Economic Patters and (Re) Composition of Amazon Region in Peru

Abstract
In thecontext of the North America Free Trade Agreement, Peruvian president, Alan Garcia Perez, developed a total number of 99 proposals of amendments, decrees and laws, which promotes forestry business, agricultural land use change and wildlife regulations in the Amazon, despite the Amazonian population’s will. As a result, this population staged the largest and most violent regional strike in Peruvianhistory in July 2007 with a death toll of 33 people among both policemen and civilians
Beyond this conflict and its unfortunate consequences, this article states that the dramatic response of Amazonian population has been clearly a result of Peruvian State economic interests, and it would be very naive to attribute it to a single and isolated context. This document put on evidence that land rightsand political representation of the Amazonian population have been inefficient and the economic development has responded to the unsustainable dynamics of occupation, exploitation and integration to national and international markets, motivated by national economic interests, regardless of local demands.

Keywords: Amazon region, natural resources policies, population occupation, productiveoccupation, land property, investment, peasants, indigenous.
1. Introduction
“And against oil, (they) have created the figure of the native jungle 'not connected'; in other words ‘unknown but presumed’, so that millions of hectares should not be explored, and Peruvian oil should remain underground while the world is paying U.S. 90.00 per barrel. It is preferable for them -dogs in the manager- toPeru continues importing and impoverishing”. Alan Garcia Perez, President of the Republic of Peru[1].
Garcia’s current administration put on national agenda an issue that for long time was not openly discussed in Peru: the consolidation of an economic development model based on the exploitation of natural resources and its unfettered disposition to private investments. In this context,Garcia’s government developed a total number of 99 proposals of amendments, decrees and laws, which basically promotes forestry business, agricultural land use change and wildlife regulations in the Amazon basin, in order to produce economic growth in the region and, therefore, in the country. These possible legislation changes generated discomfort and aggressive reaction amongst the population, bothnative/indigenous and urban, which resulted in the largest and most violent regional strike in Peruvian history in July 2007.
Land rights and political representation of the Amazonian population have a strong history of State’s[2] intervention with the aim of integrating this region to national and international markets. Moreover, this intention was motivated by State’s economic interests,regardless of local demands. Consequently, the Amazon region has experienced unsustainable dynamics of population occupation, natural resources exploitation and inefficient system of local government administration. In a sense, Garcia’s proposals represent the classical idea of former politicians about the Amazon as unpopulated and a vast region ready to be filled of investments.
As aresult of decades of these governance failures, population in the Amazon developed strong regional and local representation and their own perspective of good practice in the territory, dismissing national interests and political agenda. Therefore, these tragic events of 2007 have not been the result of Garcia’s administration proposals, but for a historically and systematic attempts to integrate...
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