Indians say they will not allow Brazilian company to invade their land

Nahua man shortly after first contact in 1984. More than 50% of the Nahua died in the next few years.
Nahua man shortly after first contact in 1984. More than 50% of the Nahua died in the next few years.
© Survival

Representatives from one hundred indigenous communities in northern Peru have said they will not allow Brazilian company Petrobras to invade their land to explore for oil.

Those potentially affected include thousands of Kichwa Indians and Secoya Indians, as well as two of the world’s last uncontacted tribes.

‘We are not going to give our territories away,’ the leader of a local indigenous organisation, OISPE, was reported to have said. ‘We know what happened to the Achuar and the extreme dangers posed to their health by oil exploration on their land. We refuse to live like that.’

‘Yet again President Garcia’s government is ignoring the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 169 and the United Nation’s Declaration on Indigenous Rights,’ said the president of Peru’s national indigenous organisation, AIDESEP, about the government's decision to allow Petrobras to work in the region. ‘These laws acknowledge indigenous peoples’ rights to live in peace, with respect for their cultures and their land protected.’

Petrobras has also signed a contract with the Peruvian government to explore for oil in an area of south-east Peru inhabited by uncontacted tribes.