Reserve for uncontacted Indians

The Peruvian government has announced the creation of a State Reserve for uncontacted tribes in the south-east of the country, who include the Yora. The creation of the reserve is extremely good news for these vulnerable tribes; Survival has been calling for it for some time, and launched a letter writing campaign on the issue in September 2001. The subsequent stream of letters received by the Peruvian authorities from concerned individuals around the world certainly played a part in the decision.

The reserve, which is just to the north of the popular tourist destination of Manu National Park, will measure 829,000 hectares in total. The government says it is being created to protect those Indians living in voluntary isolation in the area. No logging will be allowed inside the area – loggers have been one of the most serious threats to the Indians in this area, destroying their forest and bringing in infectious diseases to which the tribes have no immunity.

However, loggers are still operating inside the area declared a reserve, and many more are just outside it. Survival is continuing to campaign alongside the local indigenous organisation FENAMAD to have all the loggers removed from the area. The recognition of the area as an Indian reserve gives added strength to this campaign.