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Indigenous organisations petition Peruvian government to protect the rights of isolated peoples before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights

On 1 November 2013 indigenous and civil society organisations from Peru including FENAMAD, AIDESEP, Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR), and the National Human Rights Coordinator presented evidence in a hearing before the Inter-American Commission.

The petitioners documented the failure of the Peruvian government to provide effective protection for isolated indigenous peoples in Peru.

Peru: Indigenous and human rights organisations demand that the State guarantee strict protection for indigenous peoples in isolation in the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve

In statements published in a Peruvian national newspaper and online, both AIDESEP (the national indigenous Amazonian organisation) and over 50 Peruvian and international civil society organisations, including Forest Peoples Programme, have reiterated their demand that the State establish strict measures for the protection of isolated peoples in Peru.

Peruvian government u-turn paves way for illegal expansion of Camisea gas project

In an embarrassing u-turn the Peruvian Vice Ministry of Culture has withdrawn its formal observations on the proposed expansion of the Camisea gas project within a Reserve for isolated peoples which included the conclusions that the health, traditional economic activities and ways of life of the indigenous peoples in ‘initial contact’ and ‘voluntary isolation’ (‘isolated peoples’) in the region will be severely impacted and two of them, the Nanti and the Kirineri, could be made ‘extinct.’

The Times: Row grows over threat to tribes

Source: The Times

Three ministers in Peru have resigned in protest at plans to drill for oil in a reserve for indigenous tribes, who risk being exposed to diseases that could kill them (James Hider writes). 

The Huffington Post: Peru Set to Ignore UN Plea to Suspend Amazon Gas Expansion

Source: The Huffington Post

On 1 March this year the United Nations' Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) wrote to the Peruvian government urging it to "immediately suspend" the expansion of the country's biggest hydrocarbons development.

The Camisea gas project, as it is known, is superimposed over a supposedly "intangible" reserve established to protect the land, rights and lives of indigenous peoples living in "voluntary isolation" and "initial contact" who could be decimated by any kind of contact.

Mongabay: Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone

Source: Mongabay

A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.

The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region—plans that are currently pending approval by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).

The IDB, Camisea and Peru: A sorry, sorry safeguards story

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) played a catalytic role in the development of the Camisea gas project in the Peruvian Amazon in 2002/2003 despite having no specific policy for projects impacting indigenous peoples.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) calls on the government of Peru to suspend plans to expand Camisea gas development in Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve in South East Peru

Click here to read UNCERD's formal communication to the Permanent Mission of Peru (in Spanish only), which calls on the Peruvian government to suspend plans to expand the Camisea gas project in the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve for peoples in isolation and initial contact. 1 March 2013.

International organisations request intervention of Peruvian President to prohibit expansion of Camisea gas project within Reserve for isolated indigenous peoples

On 22 February 2013, 58 international human rights and environmental organisations (including Friends of the Earth-France, the Sierra Club and Rainforest Foundation Norway) submitted a letter to President Ollanta Humala appealing for the prohibition of expansion plans of the Camisea gas project within the ‘Territorial Reserve for ethnic groups in voluntary isolation and initial contact, Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti and others’ (KNN Reserve). These plans include proposals to carry out intensive seismic testing and build twenty-one wells, a flowline and associated infrastructure within ‘Lot 88’, and possibly establish a new concession, ‘Lot Fitzcarrald’, in the adjacent area.    

Indigenous organisations oppose Camisea expansion as Peru postpones decision to create new concession

On 2 November four Peruvian indigenous organisations issued a statement opposing recently-approved plans to expand operations in the Camisea gas fields[1] in the south-east of the country which would threaten the ‘physical and cultural survival’ of indigenous peoples in ‘voluntary isolation’ and initial contact. This expansion is scheduled to take place within the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve for isolated peoples which is supposed to be off-limits to extractive industries. However, earlier this year an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the first phase of expansion was approved by Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, despite being challenged by the government’s indigenous affairs department , INDEPA, and questioned by indigenous organisations.

UNESCO will urge Peruvian government to reconsider Camisea gas expansion plans that threaten the rights of isolated indigenous peoples and the integrity of Manu National Park

Five Indigenous People’s organisations (AIDESEP, FENAMAD, ORAU, COMARU and ORPIO) have written a letter to the UN Special Rapporteurs for food, adequate shelter and on the rights of indigenous peoples requesting that they urge the Peruvian government to cancel its imminent plans to expand oil and gas development within the Territorial Reserve in favour of the Kugapakori, Nahua, Nanti and other ethnic groups in voluntary isolation or initial contact in South Ea

Peruvian government on brink of expanding oil and gas development in reserve for isolated peoples and UNESCO world heritage site

The Peruvian government has recently approved expansion plans for the Camisea gas project in the heart of a Reserve for isolated indigenous peoples and is considering gazetting a further concession that could overlay Manu National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. These decisions threaten the lives and rights of its inhabitants and represent an infringement of both international law and Peruvian domestic legislation.