Urgent appeal for ‘trapped’ uncontacted tribe

December 19, 2007

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An urgent appeal to save an uncontacted tribe who are trapped in a shrinking patch of rainforest will be made today to Latin America’s top human rights body.

The Cacataibo are the last uncontacted Indians in the central Peruvian rainforest. They are surrounded by colonists and loggers who are closing in from all sides, and a Canadian oil company, Petrolifera, is set to penetrate their last refuge.

The uncontacted Cacataibo’s plight is made even worse by the highway that has split them into two groups. The highway connects the remote Amazon to Peru’s capital city, Lima, and since it was built in the 1940s it is believed that the two groups have not been able to meet each other.

The threat to the uncontacted Cacataibo is so serious that today an urgent appeal is being made to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Commission is being urged to call on the Peruvian government to suspend oil exploration on their land.

The appeal to the Commission will be made by the local Indigenous organisation FENACOCA, the Peruvian NGO Instituto del Bien Común, and the US-based Centre for International Environmental Law.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The desperate situation in which the uncontacted Cacataibo now find themselves is tragically emblematic of the plight of all uncontacted Indians in Peru. They are literally being invaded from all sides, and contact is almost inevitable. The Peruvian government must act now to stop the uncontacted Cacataibo being wiped out.’

For more information contact Miriam Ross on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]

Carlos Soria at the Instituto del Bien Común on [email protected] or (
51)1 9130 0824/440 0006

Marcus Orellana at the Centre for International Environmental Law on [email protected] and or (+1) 202 785 8700

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru