Kichwa organisation reaffirms backing for land mark lawsuit seeking legal recognition of their territorial rights

Kichwa organisation reaffirms backing for land mark lawsuit seeking legal recognition of their territorial rights

At 6:00 pm on October 14, 2017, the members of the Ethnic Council of the Kichwa People of the Amazon (CEPKA) gathered in the community meeting space in the district of Lamas to issue the following statement regarding inaccurate information that has been spread about the lawsuit filed by the Kichwa Native Community of Nuevo Lamas de Shapaja for the rectification of their land title in accordance with their rights to their ancestral territory:

  1. CEPKA reaffirms the constitutional lawsuit (amparo action) it filed with the native community of Nuevo Lamas de Shapaja, which demands that the regional government of San Martin rectifies their land title.
  2. The amparo action of Nuevo Lamas de Shapaja is part of a longer process of struggle by the native communities for the titling of their ancestral territories. This was formally initiated in 2011 with the presentation of a proposal for co-management of the Regional Conservation Area – Cordillera Escalera (ACR-CE)  with the support of Waman Wasi, and then in the year 2012 in a strike directed at the Regional Government for failing to title native community lands and finally in 2016 to participate in the Technical development round table for land titling. Therefore, it is false to suggest that this demand responds to divisive or conflictive influences as CEPKA has consistently participated in spaces to pursue recognition of its territorial rights.
  3. As plaintiffs, CEPKA and the native community of Nuevo Lamas de Shapaja, are the only authorized representatives to speak on the matter in addition to those of our legal representatives. Any other voices which are circulating, including those issued in statements or acts of agreement which were not submitted as part of our appeal for justice are unauthorised.
  4. We reaffirm our alliance with the Institute of Legal Defense (IDL) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) in respect of the lawsuit filed by Nuevo Lamas de Shapaja and our confidence in them as technical advisors in this process.
  5. CEPKA's members, as participants in the national indigenous movement and, because of our first-hand knowledge of the negative consequences generated by extractive companies for our brothers and sisters, reject the presence of such industry in our territory and the ACR-CE, as well as any entity that affects the environment.
  6. As the knowledge holders of ancestral paths, plants, fauna, rivers, waterfalls and other beings, and practitioners of sumak kaway or good living, we reaffirm our commitment as guardians of the forest.