Since 2013, the Shipibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya has been struggling against the destruction and appropriation of their traditional lands for the purposes of conversion of forests to oil palm plantations, with the support of their representative organisation (FECONAU). Even as the community continue to call upon local authorities to legally title their ancestral territory, community leaders have reported an intensification in violent threats and intimidation, particularly during recent months. Similar land trafficking practices of indigenous lands are common in Ucayali and frequently associated with violence. In September 2014, four indigenous leaders from Saweto were murdered, while six farmers from a settlement bordering Santa Clara were murdered on 1 September 2017.
Deeply concerned by these threats to the human rights, security and livelihoods of people in Santa Clara de Uchunya, this letter -signed by 38 Peruvian and international organisations- is intended as both an expression of solidarity with the community, as well as a call upon the relevant Peruvian authorities to act decisively to guarantee the community's safety, respect their rights and address the underlying causes of aggressive land-grabbing and deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon.