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  4. REPUBLIC OF PERU: INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY REMAINS DISPLACED

REPUBLIC OF PERU:
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY REMAINS DISPLACED

Update info:
8 Mar 2017
Country:
REPUBLIC OF PERU
Subject:
Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community
Gender m/f: All
Period:
27 Mar 2017
Distribution date:
8 Mar 2017
UA No:
044/2017

The 21 families of the Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community, in the Central Peruvian rainforest, remain displaced from their land due to fear that armed individuals will return and act on the death threats they previously made.

The Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community in the district of Pangoa, Satipo province, in the Central Peruvian rainforest, have still not received the protection which they require in order to be able to return to their land. Having received no response from the National Police Force or the Armed Forces, on 15 February the Asháninka Self-Defence Committees exercised their right to recover their land in an autonomous and peaceful manner. Upon arriving to their community they found that some of the armed individuals who had entered their territory, and who, according to members of the community, on 3 February had burned down the communal house and destroyed their homes and coffee crops, were still there. In total, the Asháninka Self-Defence Committees found 11 of the approximately 60 individuals who had entered their territory. These 11 people were taken to a local town after they promised publicly to leave the area and not to return. Neither the Attorney General nor representatives from the Ministry of the Interior appeared in person. The 11 individuals confirmed, in a community assembly which was organized following their detention, that they were well treated by the Asháninka at all times.

Despite the fact that the community Self-Defence Committees materially recovered their land, the Asháninka have still not returned, as given the lack of protection from the authorities they are afraid that the remaining armed individuals will still be there, or that they will return and act on the death threats they previously made.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Meantari Indigenous community is located in the central Peruvian rainforest, in the district of Pangoa in the region of Junín. The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in the area due to the presence of remnants of armed groups, and has been under the control of the Joint Command of the Peruvian Armed Forces since 6 October 2016.

On 3 February, around 60 unidentified armed men entered Asháninka community territory. They forced the members of the community to leave the territory by subjecting them to death threats. Due to the seriousness of the threats, the 21 families who make up the community were forced out to the neighbouring communities of San Ene and Yaviro. On 7 February the community and the Indigenous organisation Asháninka Centre of the Ene River (Central Asháninka del Rio Ene, CARE) filed a complaint with the Special Prosecutor for Environmental Matters in Chanchamayo, and on 8 February informed the National Police Force and Ombudsperson, requesting their assistance in order to guarantee the displaced community’s return and protect their right to territory and physical integrity.

According to information gathered by Amnesty International, the locals entered the territory to recover a load of illegally extracted timber from the Indigenous territory. The load had been discovered by members of the Meantari Indigenous community’s self-defence committee in January 2017 and was left in their care by the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre, SERFOR) following their visit to the area on 25 January where they confirmed and seized 97 pieces of sawn timber.

On 22 February 2017 the government recognised the community as an Indigenous community, however they still do not have titles to their land.

This is the second time that the Meantari community has been forcibly displaced from their territory. During the armed conflict from 1980 until 2000 the community suffered from the impact of terrorist violence. The disappearances and murders which they suffered at the hands of armed groups forced the members of the community to relocate to neighbouring communities, in particular to the Indigenous community of San Ene. From there they tended their crops, due to lack of safety in the area.

In recent years, members of the community have returned to their land, taking up their traditional practices and customs again, despite the fact that there are still remnants of armed groups present in the area involved with drug trafficking and illegal logging, which puts their lives and integrity and risk.

Further information on UA: 44/17 Index: AMR 46/5787/2017 Issue Date: 28 February 2017

Take action

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Calling for the Attorney General to instruct the Junín Special Prosecutor for Environmental Matters to identify and fully investigate those responsible for entering the Asháninka territory, the damage caused and the threats carried out;
  • Calling for immediate assistance from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence in order to safeguard the lives of the members of the Meantari community, ensure the integrity of their territory and put an end to any illegal activity which puts the community at risk;
  • Calling for the Armed Forces to guarantee that the 21 Asháninka families, which include children and women, can safely return to their land;
  • Reminding the Peruvian government of their obligation to seek a lasting solution which guarantees the rights of the Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community to land, territory and the environment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 MARCH 2017 TO:
Minister of the Interior
Carlos Basombrío Iglesias
Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n Urb. Corpac – San Isidro – Lima, Perú
Fax: +511 418 4030
Email: dm@mininter.gob.pe / sg@mininter.gob.pe
Twitter: @CarlosBasombrio / @MininterPeru
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr. Ministro

Minister of Defence
Jorge Nieto Montesinos
Av. La Peruanidad s/n, edificio Quiñones (Campo de Marte) – Jesús María
Lima, Perú
Email: despacho@mindef.gob.pe / dmases@mindef.gob.pe
Twitter: @MindefPeru
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr. Ministro

Attorney General of Peru
Dr. Pablo Sánchez Velarde
Av. Abancay Cdra 5 s/n – Lima, Perú
Fax: +511 625 5555 o +511 208 5555 (ask for: “tono de fax, por favor”)
Email: psanchez@mpfn.gob.pe
Twitter: @FiscaliaPeru
Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Estimado Sr Fiscal de la Nación

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 44/17. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr46/5688/2017/en/