Indigenous leaders speak out against rampant illegal activities endangering isolated communities in Peru’s North and South Kakataibo Indigenous Reserve

Photographs reveal clandestine tracks and illicit crops in the Kakataibo Indigenous Reserve in Peru

Indigenous leaders and representatives from Aidesep and Fenacoka observed illegal activities in the North and South Kakataibo Indigenous Reserve during a recent overflight. The reserve, created in 2021, has been heavily invaded by illegal activities, putting indigenous people living there at risk.

Satellite images taken in May 2023 showed deforested areas, unauthorized forest roads, and coca leaf crops within the reserve. Indigenous organizations have called for concrete action from the Peruvian government to protect the Kakataibo people in isolation. Precautionary measures have been requested from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to safeguard their rights.

During the overflight, indigenous leaders reported sightings of clandestine landing strips, deforested areas, and illegal crops throughout the reserve. They expressed concerns about the lack of protection for isolated peoples and the continuous advance of illegal activities threatening their territory. The presence of drug trafficking poses a significant threat to indigenous communities and the delicate ecosystem of the Amazon forest.

Despite repeated requests for protection measures, the Peruvian State has not taken direct action to address threats facing indigenous communities living in isolation. Indigenous leaders continue to advocate for preserving their lands and protecting their rights against rampant illegal activities encroaching on their territory.

Sophia Reynolds

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