Guard post to protect Peru’s uncontacted Mashco-Piro
February 24, 2012
© Jean-Paul Van Belle
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Residents living close to the uncontacted Mashco-Piro tribe – whose photos went viral last month – will build a guard post to protect both the Indians and locals from violent contact.
The Mashco-Piro have increasingly been appearing on riverbanks close to the Diamante community in south-east Peru, sparking fears of unwanted contact.
Small groups of Mashco-Piro men have fired warning arrows at tourists and park authorities on several occasions and in November last year a Diamante resident, Nicolás (Shaco) Flores, was hit by an arrow and died.
Amazon Indian organization Fenamad and the Piro Indian residents of Diamante reached a formal agreement to build the guard post last week.
The post will be manned by local people and will help to protect the area from intruders including illegal loggers, who are rife in the region.
Fenamad leader Jaime Corisepa, said, ‘The community should be aware of, and involved in, the protection and defence of these (uncontacted) peoples.’
Last month Survival released close-up photographs of the tribe, garnering thousands of signatures from around the world to demand government protection of the Indians’ land.
Fenamad has announced that it is collaborating with government Indigenous organization Indepa and national park authorities to ensure the Mashco-Piro’s land is secured.