Leaders from the Shipibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya, Peru, have reported a spike in violent threats and intimidation in the weeks following a court injunction against the palm oil company responsible for appropriating and deforesting more than 7,000 hectares of their ancestral territory.
On the 11th December a community delegation from the community of Santa Clara de Uchunya accompanied by representatives of FECONAU and IDL conducted a field visit to confirm reports of invasion of their lands farmed by community members close to the banks of the river Aguaytia.
Human rights defenders, whistle-blowers and witnesses face a huge variety of dangers while fighting to expose human rights abuses and related illegal resource use, land grabs and corruption. Recent reports show that defenders are facing ever higher risks, yet current protection mechanisms are failing to keep up.
Indigenous peoples in Geneva call on the UN, governments and corporate actors to urgently ramp up efforts to prevent human rights abuses by corporations and introduce effective mechanisms to hold them to account. Key messages include:
Where there are peoples with rights there will always be forests for everyone
On the eve of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) annual meeting the Shipibo Konibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya and its representative organisation FECONAU has condemned the failure of the organisation’s complaints mechanism to secure justice for their community.
In December 2015, the indigenous organisation FECONAU filed the first ever complaint to the RSPO about a Peruvian member.
On the 26th October 2017 the community of Santa Clara issued the following statement about the ongoing destruction of their lands for palm oil operations and their continued struggle for recognition of their land rights.
“Before asking permission from someone or from any institution, we always ask permission from the forest.
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 Nati
Around 5 per cent of the world’s population are indigenous, and every day huge numbers of indigenous people risk their life in protection of their ancestral lands.
According to Global Witness’ Defenders of the Earth 2017 report, nearly 40 per cent of the defenders who died in 2016 were indigenous.
Murder of six farmers in Ucayali condemned by Shipibo as a result of Peruvian government’s failure to address land trafficking in the Peruvian Amazon.
The Kichwa people of the San Martin region have traditionally occupied the upland forests which since 2005 were classified as the Regional Protected Area - Cerro Escalera by the regional government of San Martin.
In a statement published in national newspapers, Peru’s national indigenous organisation calls on the government to take immediate steps amongst others to:
On the 7th August 2017 the Peruvian Vice Ministry of Culture issued a welcome clarification in response to a request from the Federation of native communities of Ucayali (FECONAU)
Villa Gonzalo: Wampis leaders issued a statement summarising the justification for their peaceful eviction of illegal gold miners from the Santiago river which took place on the 13 July.
On the 13 July 2017, about a hundred representatives of the Wampis people successfully and peacefully intervened to evict illegal miners from the site on the Santiago river where they have been working for the last five years.
On the 21 June, AIDESEP, Peru’s national indigenous organisation, alongside the Institute of Legal Defense (IDL) submitted a formal request to UN human rights rapporteurs urging them to intervene with the Peruvian government to ensure effective measures are taken to address the elevated levels of mercury identified amongst Nahua individuals.
Ucayali, 5 June 2017: Indigenous Peoples call on the Regional Council and Government of Ucayali to secure indigenous land rights, stop harmful oil palm development and protect human rights defenders in Peruvian Amazon.
Public Statement (Pronunciamento Publico in Spanish only).