Peru indigenous leader eyes presidential bid (The Sun Daily)

19 Aug Peru indigenous leader eyes presidential bid (The Sun Daily)

LIMA (Aug 12, 2010) : Peruvian indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, who represents tribes that clashed with police last year over oil projects on ancestral lands, is considering running for president next year, his aides said on Thursday.

Pizango, who the government accuses of fomenting an uprising in the Amazon rainforest that killed 33 people in the worst crisis of President Alan Garcia’s term, already is collecting signatures to form a political party called the Alternative Alliance for Humanity.

“He has said he is up for it. Now it depends on all the other indigenous leaders deciding if he will be the candidate,” said Edson Rosales, an official at Pizango’s group Aidesep, which represents Amazon tribes.

Peruvian indigenous groups, inspired in part by successful tribal movements in Bolivia and Ecuador, have long talked about forming a political party.

In the next two months indigenous leaders in Peru will meet to see if they can create a larger alliance that might include tribes from the Amazon jungle and the Andes mountains.

A Pizango candidacy could drain support for Ollanta Humala, a left-wing ultranationalist who spooked financial markets when he nearly won the 2006 presidential race but is now in fourth place in polls for 2011 vote.

The government has branded Pizango an insurgent and he has a court date pending to face charges of treason. Pizango says the accusations are trumped up.

“The government wants to divide us. The tribes will respond by participating in the 2011 election,” Pizango said this week. …Go to article.