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News > Latin America

Three Indigenous Leaders Are Assassinated in Peru

  • View of a Indigenous community at Huanuco, Peru.

    View of a Indigenous community at Huanuco, Peru. | Photo: Twitter/ @MongabayLatam

Published 25 March 2022

"The State's intersectoral measures have proven not only insufficient but also inappropriate. They do not reach the communities," Indigenous organizations denounced.

On Thursday, the Aidesep Ucayali Regional Organization (ORAU) and the Regional Association of Indigenous Peoples (ARPI) denounced the murder of three leaders of the Asheninka people in the Huanuco department.


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Jesus Antaihua and his wife Nusat Benavides, who belonged to the Cleyton community, and Gemerson Pizango, who was a member of the Santa Teresa community, were murdered on March 22 in the province of Puerto Inca.

"The value of human life, and especially the value of Indigenous life, has been completely lost. Authorities do not implement effective protection systems," ORAU & ARPI pointed out.

These organizations bring together over 400 indigenous communities that live in Junin, Ucayali, Pasco Huanuco, and Loreto. In these regions, violence against the inhabitants is generally related to the increase in business activities, most of which are carried out illegally.

"The three murders are due to territorial pressures by mafias related to drug trafficking and illegal mining," ORAU & ARPI said, noting that these activities are "unsustainable."

The tweet reads, "ORAU & ARPI Selva Central leaders and technicians made an unexpected visit to Tzamiri, an annex of Tsirotsire, to verify the situation regarding illegal mining."

Extractive activities are also accompanied by "infrastructure projects without technical support and state corruption of authorities responsible for administering justice, which ensures their impunity."

"The Peruvian state's measures have proven not only insufficient but also inappropriate. They do not reach the communities and only promote the identification of threats."

ORAU & ARPI also recalled that the current defenseless situation of the environmental activists is a consequence of the fact that the Peruvian Congress has not yet ratified the Escazu Agreement on "Access to Information, Public Participation, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters."

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