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News > Peru

Peruvian Indigenous Leader Killed In Central Region

  • Asháninka indigenous leader Santiago Camilo Contoricón Antúnez. Apr. 10, 2023.

    Asháninka indigenous leader Santiago Camilo Contoricón Antúnez. Apr. 10, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@DiarioUnoPeru

Published 10 April 2023

Santiago Camilo Contoricón Antúnez was an indigenous leader of the Peruvian Asháninka ethnic group.

The indigenous leader was killed by several gunshots on Saturday night in the community of Puerto Ocopa, in the Junin region. 

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Two subjects entered Contoricón's house Saturday night and shot him and then fled on a motorcycle, according to local police.

Contoricón belonged to the Community Self-Defense Committee and was also mayor of the district of Río Tambo. The leader was involved in the fight against insecurity in native communities and in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM).

The VRAEM concentrates 28 000 hectares of illegal coca production, representing about 45 percent of the illicit crops identified in the South American nation.

The Rewards Program offers a significant sum for suitable and timely information that facilitates the identification and capture of those responsible for the assassination of the Asháninka leader, Santiago Camilo Contoricón Antúnez.

Contoricón also led resistance in the area against the remnants of the defunct Sendero Luminoso armed group, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"The great Asháninka nation is in mourning. For the unexpected departure of a great Asháninka leader. Rest in peace, brother and friend Santiago Contorción Antunez," said the District Municipality of Río Tambo in a statement on social networks.

The Peruvian government has offered a reward of up to 150 000 soles (about 40 000 dollars) for information leading to the identification of the perpetrators of this crime.

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