Threatened Indigenous Community in Peruvian Amazon Receives Support from Around the World

International grassroots petitions signed by tens of thousands urge protection of Shipibo Community in Santa Clara de Uchunya

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Andrew Miller at +1.202.423.4828 or andrew@amazonwatch.org
Moira Birss at +1.510.394.2041 or moira@amazonwatch.org


Washington, DC – Peruvian authorities must take urgent steps to end land grabbing, deforestation, and political killings of indigenous leaders in the Ucayali region, thousands of individuals stated in international grassroots petitions published today.

The actions were launched in the wake of the Nueva Requena massacre of six small-scale farmers on September 1st who had previously received death threats for not selling their lands to land traffickers to be deforestated and used as oil palm plantations. This horrific violence was perpetrated in close proximity to the Shipibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya, which is viewed by pro-oil palm forces as an impediment to expansion of the industry in the region.

Detailed reports of armed threats against members of the Uchunya community in recent weeks underscore the urgency of the situation. Community members Huber Flores Rodriguez and Miguel Fasabi Sangama have received credible death threats as recently as October 1st and fear for their lives. Huber left the region and is currently in Lima, carrying out meetings with authorities to urge them to take action.

The Amazon Watch petition mirrored demands issued by the Shipibo indigenous federation of FECONAU (Federation of Native Communities of the Ucayali River and Tributaries). It reads:

"We are deeply concerned by the September 1st massacre of six peasants in Nueva Requena, Ucayali province. We stand with the Shipibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya and support their demands that: (1) A high level multi-sector commission implement urgent actions to protect the life of the campesinos and indigenous communities and stop the deforestation; (2) The Public Ministry conduct speedy investigations into all cases related to illegal land trafficking and deforestation, sanctioning the direct and indirect authors; and (3) The Regional Government of Ucayali's Agrarian Office stop issuing of certificates of possession within indigenous peoples territories and instead issue a title to Santa Clara de Uchunya for the requested area including their ancestral territory."

The petitions have been sent to the following Peruvian authorities:

  • Presidency
  • Prime Minister
  • Minister of the Interior
  • Minister of Agriculture
  • Minister of Justice
  • Minister of Culture
  • Minister of the Environment
  • Public Ministry (Attorney General)
  • President of the Judiciary
  • Human Rights Ombudsman
  • Regional government of Ucayali

"While Peruvian ministers shuffle around, the prospect of deadly political violence in Ucayali remains a clear and present danger to indigenous leaders. The Shipibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya is in the line of fire as it stands in the way of massive deforestation for oil palm plantations. To improve the situation on the ground, government authorities must energetically attack impunity for illegal land trafficking, deforestation, and assassinations of indigenous leaders and campesinos," said Andrew Miller, Amazon Watch Advocacy Director.

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