Government sides with loggers against Indians

February 1, 2002

This page was created in 2002 and may contain language which is now outdated.

The Peruvian government, despite promises, has failed to remove loggers from the territory of uncontacted Indians in the south-east of the country. On the contrary, the natural resources department has actually granted the loggers a new concession, causing logging activity to increase greatly.

The uncontacted Indians are from the Yora, Mashco-Piro and Amahuaca tribes. They live deep in the Amazon, in the headwaters of four rivers, and move around in small, highly nomadic groups. Their ancestors were survivors of the 'rubber boom' one hundred years ago, in which tens of thousands of Indians died through disease, torture and mass killings as outsiders poured into the area looking to make their fortunes. The Yora have suffered even more recently from others coming in to steal their resources: when the Shell oil company explored in the area in the 1980s, around half of one group died from diseases carried by colonists who followed them.

If the Peruvian government does not act soon to cancel logging permits, remove loggers – as it promised – and recognise the Yora's land rights, it will be responsible for many more tragic deaths.

See How you can Help the Yora.

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru