Government considers new uncontacted tribes’ reserves

Crossed spears left by uncontacted Indians in northern Peru where Perenco is working
Crossed spears left by uncontacted Indians in northern Peru where Perenco is working
© Marek Wolodzko/AIDESEP

Peru’s indigenous affairs department (INDEPA) has announced it will hold a meeting to discuss the creation of five new reserves for uncontacted tribes in the remote rainforest.  

One of the proposed reserves is where the Anglo-French oil company Perenco is currently working. Perenco is believed to be sitting on the biggest oil discovery in Peru in thirty years and claims no uncontacted tribes live there.

Another of the proposed reserves is where the Canadian oil company Petrolifera has been exploring for oil by conducting seismic tests. Despite the danger this poses to the uncontacted Indians living there, Petrolifera’s CEO, Richard Gusella, has described his company as a ‘poster child’ for companies interacting with local communities.

The meeting is to be held tomorrow, 31 March, in Iquitos, a city in northern Peru.

Only recently a ‘state of emergency’ was declared in more than one hundred indigenous communities in northern Peru after the Brazilian state oil company, Petrobras, announced its intention to enter their land. Some of this land includes part of one of the proposed reserves to be discussed by INDEPA.

To mark the meeting Survival has written an open letter to INDEPA’s director urging him to recognise uncontacted tribes’ land rights and to protect their territories from oil and gas exploration, logging and any other form of natural resource extraction.

Read Survival’s open letter to INDEPA.

For more information please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]

Watch Survival's short film 'Uncontacted Tribes'