Settlers killed in clash with Peru tribe
"Yesterday at 4 a.m. (0900 GMT), between 200 and 300 natives attacked the
settlers with machetes, arrows and shotguns," Zelin Gonzalez, governor of the
village of San Ignacio, near the border with Ecuador, told Reuters.
"They are talking about between 25 and 35 people killed, including men,
and children, and many disappeared," he said, adding that officials were now
working to treat the injured and locate those missing after the bloody clash.
Newspapers said the semi-nomadic Aguaruna indigenous tribe used poison-tipped
darts to eject the squatters from the northern reaches of Cajamarca province, about
480 miles (800 kms) north of Lima.
Exact details were not yet known because of the remoteness of the area
10-hour journey, most of it on foot, from San Ignacio, the nearest village of any
Interior Ministry officials said most of those who were killed were settlers
vast jungle region near the poor Andean nation's border with Ecuador.
Gonzalez said the violence was rooted in a long-standing feud over land
"This is a coffee-growing region, so that's why the settlers, entire families, don't
want to leave," he added.
He said that after a series of judicial maneuvers designed to evict the
last week ruled in favor of the Aguaruna. But the settlers were soon back,
prompting the tribe to attack, the governor said.
"The natives ambushed them," one Interior Ministry official said. He said
set off for the zone, but had not yet reported back with more details on the conflict.
Copyright 2002 Reuters