Peruvian security forces armed with Heckler & Koch rifles and submachine guns have killed dozens of indigenous protesters near the northern city of Bagua.
Indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon have been protesting against new “Free Trade” laws that would open up their ancestral lands to drilling for gas and oil. Since April 2009, indigenous protesters have stepped up their protest, blocking road and river transport and shutting down oil and gas pumping stations. On June 6, Peruvian President Alan García ordered in the troops, and police opened fire using live rounds on a crowd of protesters.
The shots came from rooftop snipers and a hovering helicopter as well as ground forces. A representative of Save The Children reported that children as young as four years old were wounded by indiscriminate police shooting. The bloody crackdown continues, with some estimates putting the death toll in the 80s. There are eyewitness reports of the Peruvian police hiding bodies by burning or dumping them in the Utcubamba river.
The Peruvian armed forces are only one of many deadly actors employing H&K’s tools for killing and repression in the world today. Two other conflicts that have been in the news lately are the bloody conclusion to the Sri Lankan Civil War, in which government forces were armed with H&K submachine guns, and the Taliban insurgency in Pakistan’s Swat district, in which both Taliban and government forces are armed with H&K rifles and submachine guns.
And to whom do the armed forces of Peru, Sri Lanka and Pakistan go in order to keep their weapons serviced and maintained? Could it be the Nottingham office of Heckler & Koch, which according to the company’s own website is responsible for “international customer sales and customer services outside NATO”?
Make no mistake about it: Heckler & Koch is not a respectable company. It is a purveyor of the tools of murder and repression, staffed by people without a conscience, owned by crooked millionaire playboys, and it needs to be shut down.