Indigenous peoples in isolation accuse company of endangering their territories

Indigenous peoples in isolation accuse company of endangering their territories

The Regional Organization of Peoples of the East accuses the Anglo-French company Perenco Peru Petroleum of affecting the preservation of isolated indigenous peoples located in the Loreto region. This is because the company indicates that the Napo Tigre Indigenous Reserve interferes with its rights to explore and exploit lots 67 and 39.

“We have the objective of defending the rights of the PIACI, the preservation of their territories is key to protecting their right to life. The Indigenous Reserves are areas declared intangible to safeguard the ecosystems and the lives of indigenous peoples in a situation of isolation and initial contact”, explained Beltrán Sandi Tuituy, president of the Regional Organization of Peoples of the East (ORPIO).

The process of creating this indigenous reserve began in 2003 and a series of technical studies required by the Law in favor of Indigenous Peoples in Situation of Isolation and Initial Contact – PIACI (promulgated in 2006) were carried out to demonstrate the existence of isolated peoples in the territory in question and thus delimit the area that would encompass the reserve where the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation (PIA) also live.

In addition, Pablo Chota, secretary and specialist in Indigenous Peoples in Situation of Isolation and Initial Contact (PIACI) of the same organization, added “the amparo action filed by Perenco against MINCUL is going against the collective rights of the peoples in isolation found in Napo Tigre, an area in the process of creating an indigenous reserve, which as ORPIO we support benefits the isolated. Perenco seeks his personal ends for lots 39 and 67 that he has there, but we are going to persist until we achieve the creation of the Indigenous Reserve”.

Current landscape

However, in 2014, ORPIO and AIDESEP continued their efforts to create the aforementioned reserve and carried out new technical studies, achieving a second favorable rating the following year.

“Perenco continued to obstruct the process of creating the indigenous reserve. In June 2022, the company obtained an amparo action against the Ministry of Culture by requesting that the favorable qualification of the request to create said reserve be annulled. It also requests its incorporation in the commission that evaluates the approval of the Napo Tigre reserve”, warned Julio Cusurichi, Shipibo Konibo leader, national leader and head of the PIACI Program of AIDESEP.

He also added that “the amparo action was presented and admitted by the Sixth Constitutional Court of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima and represents a serious threat to the brothers in isolation, since their territory overlaps with lots 67 and 39 operated by Perenco would be exposed to contact, putting their preservation at risk.”

It is known that on September 7, the Sixth Constitutional Court of Lima will evaluate said amparo action at a hearing. But not everything is negative, since on July 25, the Multisectoral Commission of the PIACI Law approved the Preliminary Recognition Study (EPR) of the Napo Tigre Indigenous Reserve. With the approval of the EPR, the existence of isolated indigenous peoples that inhabit the territory of this reserve is officially recognized.

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