Uncontacted Indians killed by loggers

Uncontacted Indians in Peru are being killed and having their houses burned to the ground by illegal loggers, according to a pan-South American indigenous group.

The loggers have invaded a reserve set aside for uncontacted Indians and built an illegal network of roads to transport the wood, says a statement from CIPIACI, an organisation of South American indigenous people set up to defend uncontacted tribes.

These incidents are occurring very close to the area where the photos of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil were taken recently. The photos made headlines around the world.

CIPIACI’s statement says the loggers are ‘committing grave violations against the uncontacted peoples’ rights, including persecution, murder, setting fire to their houses. . . . These crimes are being committed with total impunity.’  

The statement also says that the loggers are forcing uncontacted Indians to seek refuge across the border in Brazil, where there is no logging.

According to CIPIACI, the Peruvian government is already aware that the loggers have invaded the uncontacted Indians’ land, and that recent comments from government spokespeople about the ‘supposed peace and tranquillity’ in the region ‘do not correspond at all with what is actually happening.’

CIPIACI is urging the government to remove the loggers from uncontacted Indians’ land and to protect it effectively, as well as provide greater legal protection for it.

Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘If ever the Peruvian government needed a wake-up call, this is it: killings, the destruction of homes, the invasion of the Indians’ land. The government needs to get its act together, accept responsibility for its most vulnerable citizens, and do whatever is necessary to ensure the Indians can live on their own land in peace.’

For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]