President Garcia declared ‘enemy’ of uncontacted tribes

November 15, 2007

Alan Garcia is ‘president of all Peruvians and that includes the isolated tribes too,’ says FENAMAD. © Survival

This page was created in 2007 and may contain language which is now outdated.

An Indigenous organisation has declared Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, an ‘enemy’ of uncontacted tribes living in the remote Peruvian rainforest.

‘The present government, as is evident from its policies and the statements made by the president, has turned into an enemy of Peru’s Indigenous movement,’ reads a statement from FENAMAD, an Indigenous organisation based in Peru’s Madre de Dios region.

‘We need to prepare ourselves to fight strongly for our rights because the present government has forgotten that it is its responsibility to comply with national and international laws and to defend the lives of our brothers living in voluntary isolation, as well as all Indigenous peoples in Peru,’ the statement continues.

President Garcia, ‘. . . is president of all Peruvians and that includes the isolated tribes too. Their lives, physical integrity, land, resources and cultures are being put at huge risk.’

The Peruvian government is currently promoting oil and gas exploration in areas inhabited by the uncontacted tribes. Very recently President Garcia questioned the tribes’ existence, saying they had been ‘created’ by environmentalists and were only ‘presumed to exist.’

In total, there are an estimated 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru and all are under huge threat from outsiders invading their territories. Any form of contact could be fatal for them because they do not have immunity to outsiders’ diseases.

Read FENAMAD's statement (in Spanish)

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru