The federation of native communities of Ucayali (FECONAU) alongside the Shipibo village of Santa Clara de Uchunya issued a statement condemning and lamenting the murder of six Peruvian farmers from the settlement of Bajo Rayal in Ucayali on Friday 1 September. The brutal assassinations appear to have been related to a dispute between land traffickers connected with the expanding oil palm sector in the area. They denounced the murders as a result of the longstanding failure and corruption of the Ucayali agrarian agency to address the land trafficking and associated conflict that prevails in the region. The territory of Santa Clara, whose ancestral lands share a boundary with Bajo Rayal have themselves been subjected to a violent land grab since 2012 when Plantaciones de Pucallpa a palm oil company connected with the Melka commercial group (now known as Grupo Ochosur SAC) began to illegally acquire their untitled lands through irregular procedures conducted with the endorsement of Ucayali’s agrarian authority and a network of land traffickers implicated in the recent murders. Leaders of FECONAU and Santa Clara have themselves faced continued death threats since they began challenging the expansion of the palm oil company and call on the government to take decisive action to provide adequate protection, investigate the murders, bring those responsible to justice and put a stop to the land trafficking that plagues the region.
To read the press release from the Instituto de Estudios Forestales & Ambientales please click here. Warning: This document contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.