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    Members of the AIDESEP | Photo: AIDESEP

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“I don’t want my children to be destroyed by oil … That’s why we’re defending ourselves,” said one member of the Matses tribe.

After struggling for 14 years, Peru’s national Indigenous organization is taking Peru’s Ministry of Culture to court for its negligence of the country’s uncontacted tribes.

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AIDESEP has been calling on the Peruvian government to meet its obligation to map out and create five Indigenous reserves in the Amazon Uncontacted Frontier, where uncontacted Indigenous peoples live.

After granting the Canadian oil company Pacific E&P the right to explore Yavari Tapiche, a proposed Indigenous reserve in the frontier, the Peruvian government has made no efforts to protect those uncontacted tribes that live there, alleges AIDESEP. Many working on the campaign against oil exploration in the area fear that the tribes could be wiped out from diseases to which they have no resistance if they come into contact with outsiders.

At a recent meeting of the Matses tribe, who are struggling against the government, one man explained, “I don’t want my children to be destroyed by oil … That’s why we’re defending ourselves … and why we Matses have come together. The oil companies … are insulting us and we won’t stay silent as they exploit us on our homeland. If it’s necessary, we’ll die in the war against oil.”

Peru has ratified ILO 169, an international law for the protection of tribal peoples and campaigners are leading resistance to remind them of that commitment.


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