Success: Peru vows to protect uncontacted tribe’s reserve 14 June 2011

 Illegal logging in Peru's Murunahua reserve is pushing the Indians into Brazil – the very area where this tribe lives.
Illegal logging in Peru's Murunahua reserve is pushing the Indians into Brazil – the very area where this tribe lives.
© G. Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

Peru’s Culture Ministry has promised to protect an uncontacted tribe’s reserve in the Amazon amid fears that it would be shut down.

In a statement released last week, the ministry denied reports that it planned to abolish the Murunahua reserve, and stated that it is fully protected under Peruvian law.

Recently-contacted Murunahua man, south-east Peru
Recently-contacted Murunahua man, south-east Peru
© Chris Fagan/UAC/ProPurús

The controversy was sparked by employees of the Indigenous Affairs Department, Indepa, which lies within the Culture Ministry, after they revealed plans to close the reserve in meetings with local organizations.

Luis Lacerna, the director of Indepa’s Indigenous Protection, Economic Development and Territory department, is currently the only employee whose identity has been revealed by the international press.

An illegal logging camp in an uncontacted tribes' reserve in south-east Peru.' 
An illegal logging camp in an uncontacted tribes' reserve in south-east Peru.' 
© Chris Fagan/UAC/ProPurús

Indepa has been heavily criticized for failing to prevent widespread illegal logging that is forcing uncontacted tribes to flee from the reserve.

Survival welcomes the ministry’s announcement, and has written to Peru’s newly-elected president Ollanta Humala asking him how his government will protect the country’s vulnerable uncontacted tribes.

 

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