Rights body pressures government on uncontacted tribes

A Nanti woman. Some of the Nanti live without any contact with the outside world at all.
A Nanti woman. Some of the Nanti live without any contact with the outside world at all.
© Unknown/Survival

The top human rights body in Latin America, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), has demanded to know what the Peruvian government is doing to protect uncontacted tribes living in the remote Amazon.

The IACHR’s call to the Peruvian government comes after Peru’s national Amazon Indian organisation, AIDESEP, lodged two appeals with the Commission this year.

The first appeal concerns the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve in the south-east of the country where gas exploration has ‘led to forced contact between the gas company workers and the uncontacted tribes’. There are also reports of members of one tribe being forcibly displaced from their homes, and the use of megaphones and a helicopter to make contact with others.

The second appeal concerns Peru’s northern Amazon, where at least two uncontacted tribes live. Barrett Resources and Repsol YPF are hoping to explore for oil there.

Earlier in the year the IACHR urged the Peruvian government to protect uncontacted tribes living in the Madre de Dios Reserve, also in Peru’s south-east. In total, there are an estimated 15 different uncontacted tribes in Peru, all of them under huge threat.

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