The president of Peru Alan Garcia visited the White House on Monday to have discussions with President Obama on a variety of issues ranging from combating drug trafficking , to the defense of the country, to the support for immigration reform.
Said President Obama of their conversation, "We also talked, though, about a broader international vision of how we can continue to promote democracy, human rights, press freedoms, economic development, not just for those at the top but also from the bottom up; poverty reduction. These are all issues that the President has some excellent track records of success in his own country, and we want to continue to be an effective partner with Peru as they continue to grow and develop."
While talks between the two presidents were being held on the inside of the White House, demonstrators were having their say on the outside. Among the protestors, Hollywood actress Q’orianka Kilcher along with her mother, Saskia Kilcher.
Kilcher chained herself to fence of the White House, her body covered in black paint to represent oil. The two were arrested and jailed Tuesday for protesting for the rights of Peru's indigenous people.
Q'orianka says Garcia is "illegally auctioning off land without consent of the indigenous people", calling Garcia "corrupt" and his actions "illegal".
The two gave their first interview today on Democracy Now! after being released last evening from jail.(Democracy Now! video here).
Said Garcia while visiting the White House, "And on regional issues, we are convinced that democracy will become stronger and stronger in Latin America. But this democracy needs to be modern, vibrant, a democracy that works with technology, with investment, one that does not fall into the trap of protectionism -- protectionism which can only lead to poverty", said Garcia.
Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton is planning to travel to Peru next week, where she will be leading the U.S. delegation during the OAS General Assembly.