Peru: Indigenous Community remains displaced
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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.
Members of the Asháninka Meantari Indigenous community in the district of Pangoa, Satipo province, in the Central Peruvian rainforest, have still not received the protection 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. 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.
Please send tweets, a letter, fax, and/or email without delay. (Postage is $2.50.)
* Call on the Attorney General to instruct the Junín Special Prosecutor for Environmental Matters to identify, and fully investigate:
* Urge 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, to ensure the integrity of their territory and to put an end to any illegal activity which puts the community at risk.
* Ask the Armed Forces to guarantee that the 21 Asháninka families can safely return to their land.
* Remind 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.
Address your messages to
Minister of the Interior
Carlos Basombrío Iglesias
Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n Urb. Corpac
San Isidro, Lima, Perú
Fax: 011 511 418 4030
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)
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr. Ministro
Attorney General of Peru:
Dr. Pablo Sánchez Velarde
Av. Abancay Cdra 5 s/n
Fax: 011 511 625 5555
or 011 511 208 5555 (You may need to say “Tono de fax, por favor”.)
Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Estimado Sr Fiscal de la Nación
Please send a copy to:
Her Excellency Doraliza Marcela López Bravo
Ambassador for Peru
130 Albert Street, Suite 1901
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
Fax: 1 (613) 232-3062
Via website: http://www.embassyofperu.ca (then choose Contactenos from the selections on the top bar).
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
111 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Postage: None required
Fax: 1 (613) 996-9607
Politicians notice their Twitter activity!;
Send tweets to;@CarlosBasombrio, @MininterPeru, @MindefPeru, @CCFFAA_PERU urging them to protect the Meantari community.
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.
The government does not recognise the community as an Indigenous community and they do not have titles to their land. The recognition process is underway with the Junín Regional Directorate of Agriculture, as they have complied with all the legal requirements.
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.
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