Monthly Archives: July 2009

Facts of the Case

This article is meant to provide an overview of the Peltier case.  This intricate case grows more complicated with each passing year as court challenges continue so as to win Leonard’s freedom. All of the information below is from the site AIM for Freedom for Leonard Peltier.

The Shoot-Out

June 26, 1975

On June 26, 1975, two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)—Mr. Jack Coler and Mr. Ron Williams—entered private property on the Pine Ridge reservation, the Jumping Bull Ranch. They drove unmarked vehicles, wore plain clothes, and neglected to identify themselves as law enforcement officers. They allegedly sought to arrest a young Indian man, Jimmy Eagle, for the theft of a pair of cowboy boots. They believed, the government contends, that they had seen Eagle in a red pick up truck that they then followed onto the Jumping Bull property.

Members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were camping on the property at the time. They had been invited there by the Jumping Bull elders, who sought protection from the extreme violence on the reservation at that time. Many non-AIM persons were present as well.

For unknown reasons, a shoot-out began. A family with small children was trapped in the cross fire. Throughout the ranch, people screamed that they were under attack and many of the men present hurried to return fire.

The Cost

When the skirmish ended, the two FBI agents were dead. The U.S. government claims they had been wounded and then shot through their heads at close range.

A young Native American named Joe Stuntz also lay dead, shot through the head by a sniper bullet. His killing has never been investigated.

The more than 30 men, women, and children present on the ranch were then quickly surrounded by over 150 FBI agents, Special Weapons and Tactics (or SWAT) team members, Bureau of Indian Affairs police, and local vigilantes. They barely escaped through a hail of bullets.

The Aftermath

The FBI immediately began its investigation into the shoot-out, the so-called RESMURS investigation, and launched the biggest manhunt of its history.

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Mumia Abu Jamal: Free Leonard Peltier

A statement from Mumia, who is himself on death row in Pennsylvania. It was given as Leonard’s parole hearing approached.

Massacre at Bagua

Hugo Blanco was a leader of the peasant uprising in the Cuzco region of Peru in the early 1960s, a symbol of the unity and renewal of the Peruvian revolutionary left in 1978-1980, imprisoned, threatened with death, exiled and freed thanks to international solidarity. He is the editor of Lucha Indigena.

On June 5, 2009, world environment day, Awajun and Wami defenders of the environment were massacred in Peru. I will start by pointing to a difference between “modernity” and indigenous cosmology: The civilised world sees the past as something exceeded. “Primitive” has pejorative connotations. The modern, the most recent, is the best.

In my language, Quechua, “Ñaupaq” means “forward “and “past” at the same time. “Qhepa” means “later”, in place and time. Now we see that “progress” is leading to the extinction of the human species through global warming and many other forms of attacks on nature.

Who are the Amazonian people?

The Peruvian Amazon population comprises 11 per cent of the total population. It inhabits the most extensive of the three natural regions of Peru, the North, Centre and Southeast. It speaks dozens of languages and consists of dozens of nationalities.

The inhabitants of the South American rain forest are the indigenous peoples least contaminated by the “civilization” whose current stage is neoliberal capitalism.

They were not conquered by the Incas, or the Spanish invaders. The indigenous rebel Juan Santos Atawallpa, harassed by Spanish troops, fell back into the jungle, among these peoples, one of whose languages he had learned, and the colonial forces failed to defeat him. At the time of the exploitation of rubber capitalism entered the jungle and reduced to slavery and massacred native populations, for this reason many of them have kept themselves until today in voluntary isolation, wanting no contact with “civilization”.

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