Yesterday morning, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers inaugurated a technical table in the Vraem in search of talking and proposing solutions for the different economic, social and agrarian conflicts that exist in the area. But only the mayors of that area of the central jungle took the floor. This situation upset the apus of the indigenous communities who were also invited to the meeting, but were not allowed to speak.
Very respectful, the apus continued in the session. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the clothing that was placed on the still premier Aníbal Torres.
The mayor of the district of Río Negro, Mónica Chuquimia, presented the traditional clothing of the indigenous communities of the area to Premier Aníbal Torres, who was leading the event.
Before this act, the indigenous leaders –disturbed by the situation– got up from their seats and left the place. Upon leaving, they declared to the local press: “The mayors are not owners, they are not indigenous peoples. Therefore, we feel a lack of respect that they can put on the clothing of the indigenous people when it does not correspond to them,” they asserted.
Hours later, they sent a letter to Prime Minister Torres in which they reiterated the aforementioned. They pointed out that the mayor Chuquimia does not represent them as an indigenous community and that they have agreed that based on what happened “the use of indigenous attire as an act of recognition without the authorization of the Ashaninka and Nomatsigenga peoples is prohibited (…) it is not an instrument folkloric nor should it be used for photos”, they stated.
The document was received by the prime minister, who publicly apologized to the indigenous organizations when the event ended. Torres went, along with other members of the cabinet, to the premises of the affected community and entered to have a conversation behind closed doors.
Although the local press tried to obtain statements, Aníbal Torres did not say anything. The soldiers guarding the place closed the doors and did not allow the media to enter.
In the middle of the debate, Jesús Vargas, former president of the Satipo Defense Front, publicly denounced and demanded the assistance of the provincial mayor of Satipo, Iván Olivera, from the premier.
“He is sitting (Torres) next to a corrupt man (Olivera), they talk about the issue of corruption and corruption is there,” he denounced, pointing the finger at the mayor linked to the criminal organization Los Pulpos de Satipo.
Keep in mind
- The technical table was originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, but, according to Peru21 sources, it was the premier who asked to suspend the event.
- Parliamentarians from the Vraem Commission of Congress told this newspaper that the reason for the cancellation was never explained to them.