Peru: Urgent Action: Indigenous Community At Risk Due To Threats (Peru: UA 44/17)
More than 60 heavily armed individuals entered Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community territory in the Central Peruvian rainforest and forced out 21 families by subjecting them to death threats.
In the afternoon of 3 February, around 60 unidentified armed men entered Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community territory in the district of Pangoa, Satipo province, in the Central Peruvian rainforest. They forced the members of the community to leave the territory by subjecting them to death threats. Due to the seriousness of the threats, the 21 families who make up the community were forced out to the neighbouring communities of San Ene and Yaviro, about a two-hour walk away. The families remain displaced and are afraid to return to their community, and local and national authorities have not taken any measures to guarantee that the armed men have now left their territory.
On 7 February the community and the Indigenous organization Asháninka Centre of the Ene River (Central Asháninka del Rio Ene, CARE) filed a complaint with the Special Prosecutor for Environmental Matters in Chanchamayo, and on 8 February informed the National Police Force and Ombudsperson, requesting their assistance in order to guarantee the displaced community’s return and protect their right to territory and physical integrity. In the absence of protection from the authorities to guarantee their safe return, the members of the Asháninka community remain displaced and afraid of what could happen to them if they return. Lack of recognition as an Indigenous community and lack of titles to their land exacerbate their situation of instability and vulnerability.
Members of the Asháninka community identified the men as locals from the districts of Pichari, Sibia and Yochegua, located in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAE). According to information gathered by Amnesty International, the locals entered the Asháninka territory to recover a load of illegally extracted timber from the Indigenous territory. The load had been discovered by members of the Meantari Indigenous community’s self-defence committee in January and was left in their care by the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre, SERFOR) following their visit to the area on 25 January where they confirmed and seized 97 pieces of sawn timber.
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
- Calling for immediate assistance from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence and the Joint Command of the Peruvian Armed Forces in order to safeguard the lives of the members of the Meantari community, ensure the integrity of their territory and put an end to any illegal activity which puts the community at risk;
- Reminding the Peruvian government of their obligation to guarantee the rights of Indigenous peoples to land, territory and the environment.
Contact these two officials by 29 March 2017:
Minister of the Interior
Carlos Basombrío Iglesias
Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n Urb. Corpac – San Isidro – Lima, Perú
Fax: +511 418 4030
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr. Ministro
Ambassador Carlos Pareja, Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
Fax: 202 659 8124
Phone: 202 833 9860
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
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