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  • Olivia Arevalo Lomas, 89, was a defender of Indigenous people's rights and a traditional ikaro singer-healer.

    Olivia Arevalo Lomas, 89, was a defender of Indigenous people's rights and a traditional ikaro singer-healer. | Photo: Twitter / @JaimeteleSUR

Published 23 April 2018
Opinion

Latin America is the most dangerous place in the world for environmental activists. In Peru alone, 61 activists were killed in the past 10 years, according to human rights organization Global Witness.

Amnesty International's office in Peru demanded authorities to protect better indigenous leaders in the country, following the recent assassination of Olivia Arevalo Lomas that sparked outrage across the region.

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“We lament the terrible assassination of the indigenous leader, Olivia Arevalo Lomas, defensor of cultural and environmental rights of the Shipibo-Konibo people,” said the organization on Twitter.

It also urged the government of Martin Vizcarra to “publicly recognize the legitimate work of human rights activists,” and implement “public policies to protect them, after consulting them.” “Enough attacks against women rights activists!”

Arevalo Lomas, an 89-year-old leader of the Shipibo Konibo Indigenous group in the Peruvian Amazon, was assassinated last Thursday afternoon in the intercultural community of Victoria Gracia, 20 minutes from the town of Yarinacocha in Coronel Portillo province, Ucayali.

Witnesses said they saw a man approach Arevalo Lomas' house and shoot her several times in the chest before fleeing on a motorcycle.

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