Peru: Amazon Forestry Consortium threatens to evict an Ashaninka community

WRM default image

The Ashaninka indigenous peoples community of Churinashi in the Atalaya province in the Amazon region of Peru is being subject to violence and threats of forced eviction from their lands, territories and resources, over which they possess ancestral rights, recognized in the Peruvian Constitution, in conformity with the ratification by Peru of ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal peoples, incorporated into national legislation in 1993, through Legislative Resolution 26253.

The Amazon Forestry Consortium (CFA), one of the largest transnational logging companies in the country, has obtained a logging concession in the Churinashi territory, in violation of the Ashaninka community rights. This has taken place with no prior consultation and by resorting to manipulation, corruption and violence to displace the community from its ancestral lands.

The zone is in a totally instable situation, due to violence and intimidation. Through a recent resolution adopted by the legal authorities of the province of Atalaya, the local indigenous organization Organización Indígena de la Región de Atalaya (OIRA) has been notified that unless the community members resettle themselves outside the area of concession, imminent use will be made of “public order forces.”

The Indigenous Amazon organization AIDESEP (the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Forest) has requested all possible support for the campaign to defend the Ashaninka community and is requesting that letters be sent to President Toledo, with copy to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Leon, asking for support for the demands made by the representative indigenous organizations.

Some of these demands are:

* That an immediate end should be put to the present situation of violence and fear, through just recognition of the legitimate rights of the indigenous peoples;
* That the totality of the Churinashi community territory should be excluded from the concession granted to CFA;
* That all concessions to CFA should be cancelled as the Consortium is violating national and international norms and represents a serious threat to the integrity of the indigenous peoples, their communities, their lands, their territories and their resources.

You can support the above demands by sending a letter to the Peruvian government. A model letter is available at:
Briefings/s_america /peru_model_let_atayala_mar04_eng.htm#model_letter

By: Emily Caruso, Forest Peoples Programme, email: ,