Peruvian indigenous and civil society organisations file shadow report to UN-CERD urging action to address the ongoing violations of the land rights of indigenous peoples in the Ucayali and San Martín regions of the Peruvian Amazon

San Martín
San Martín

Peruvian indigenous and civil society organisations file shadow report to UN-CERD urging action to address the ongoing violations of the land rights of indigenous peoples in the Ucayali and San Martín regions of the Peruvian Amazon

On the 30th March 2018, an alliance of civil society organisations submitted a shadow report to the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (CERD). On April 25 and 26 the CERD committee will review Peru's compliance with the international Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (including measures to protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples). The shadow report highlights the Peruvian State’s failure to respond to the prior recommendations and concerns of the CERD committee and to specifically address the ongoing violations of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, lands and resources with a focus on the regions of Ucayali and San Martín. In these regions, the Kichwa and Shipibo-Conibo communities represented by the indigenous organisations of CEPKA and FECONAU are experiencing the appropriation and destruction of their lands for agribusiness development (case of Santa Clara de Uchunya vs Plantaciones de Pucallpa/Ocho Sur) and the restriction on their way of life as a result of the establishment of protected areas on their traditional lands without their free, prior and informed consent (case of Kichwa communities and the Regional Conservation Area – Cordillera Escalera). In both regions, the security of indigenous land tenure is undermined by the government’s continued failure to effectively recognise their full property rights over their traditional territories, while still granting interests in those lands to individuals and logging, agribusiness, oil companies and as conservation areas.

The report includes a series of concrete recommendations and suggested questions for the CERD committee to put to the Government of Peru delegation that will attend the review in Geneva, including, for example, the following recommendations about the measures the Peruvian Government should take going forward:

1) Resolve the pending titling of indigenous lands which do not cover the full extent of their  traditional territories

2) Refrain from issuing new rights over indigenous lands including concessions and titles and cease the exploitation of natural resources in indigenous territories where indigenous land rights remain unresolved

3) Investigate and punish those responsible for violence, discrimination, hateful discourse and threats against indigenous rights defenders

4) Implement measures to carry out the restitution of territories, remedy environmental damage and compensate those affected.

5) Implement the recommendations of the indigenous platform on isolated indigenous peoples

In addition, and given prior recommendations by the CERD committee, the report also highlights the ongoing failure of the Peruvian Government to address serious levels of mercury contamination amongst Nahua inhabitants of the Nahua, Kugapakori Nanti Territorial reserve for isolated indigenous peoples and recommends that the Committee urge the Peruvian Government to undertake robust and independent investigations to establish the source of the contamination.

The committee will be reviewing Peru’s compliance with the convention on the 25th and 26th of April after which it is expected that recommendations will be issued in the form of "concluding observations". The State's own report, as well as the shadow reports of other civil society actors can be found at http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1195&Lang=en