Thursday, January 16, 2014

Peru blocks plans for new indigenous reserve as oil production starts

David Hill in the "Andes to the Amazon" blog in the Guardian (UK): Two key Peruvian state institutions are blocking plans to establish a reserve for indigenous people living in "voluntary isolation" (IPVI) between the Napo and Tigre rivers in the Amazon rainforest. Opposition to the proposal was condemned by national indigenous organisation AIDESEP after a meeting, held in December, of a cross-sector government commission set up to create such reserves.

In June last year Peru's vice-ministry of inter-culturality (VMI), the state entity responsible for indigenous peoples, officially recognised the existence of IPVI in the Napo-Tigre region and supported the proposal to create the reserve. According to the VMI's memo 190-2013:

This communiqué gives favourable qualification for the recognition of indigenous peoples in isolation, probably related to the Arabela, Iquito, Taushiro, Zápara, Waorani and Abirija peoples, and the categorisation of the Curaray, Napo, Arabela, Nashiño, Pucacuro, Tigre and Tributaries' Indigenous Reserve, details of which are in the attached documentation.

Memo 190 was sent by the then vice-minister of inter-culturality, Paulo Vilca Arpasi, to the then president of the cross-sector commission, Hernán Coronado Chuecas, together with 357 pages of reports, maps, letters and sworn testimonies principally supporting the IPVI's existence.

However, the proposed reserve is almost entirely overlapped by oil concessions including, most significantly, lot 39, run by Repsol, and lot 67, run by London- and Paris-based Perenco together with Vietnamese state oil and gas company PetroVietnam....

Bora people in Peru, shot by Jorge G. Mori, public domain 

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