Social Issues

Peru sets up new control post to protect isolated indigenous communities

Lima, May 9 (EFE).- Peru’s government has set up a second control post inside a reserve in the northern Amazon region of Loreto with a view to bolstering protection for indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation and initial contact (known by the Spanish acronym PIACI), the Culture Ministry said Tuesday in a statement.

Four protection officers stationed at the control post in the native community of Lobo Santa Rocino will help to permanently monitor the more than 1-million-hectare (3,860-square-mile) Yavari Tapiche reserve and conduct river patrols, it added.

Peru invested 311,600 soles ($84,300) in building the control post, having received support from the Andes Amazon Fund and the Center for the Development of the Amazonian Indigenous.

The Deputy Ministry of Interculturality said the purpose of the new control post, which was inaugurated at the start of the month, is to identify potential threats and keep isolated peoples such as the Matses, Remo (Isconahua) and Marubo informed about situations of vulnerability.

The head of the Lobo Santa Rocino community, Luis Oliveira Peña, expressed his commitment to the PIACI and underscored the importance of control and monitoring efforts in protecting indigenous territories.

“It’s important to have a control post because we have to protect our PIACI brothers. They exist and are part of our Peru,” Oliveira was quoted as saying.

Peruvian authorities plan to build a third control post in the Yavari Tapiche reservation, according to the statement, which said it would be located within the bounds of the Matses community’s territory.

The Culture Ministry has set up 16 control posts staffed by 30 protection agents in the departments of Madre de Dios, Ucayali, Cuzco and Loreto.

Peru’s seven indigenous reserves in the Madre de Dios, Cuzco, Huanuco, Loreto and Ucayali departments cover a combined area of more than 4 million hectares of Amazon forest, or around 3.2 percent of the national territory.

Peru’s PIACI population is estimated at 7,500, 5,200 of whom are in voluntary isolation and 2,259 in initial contact.

All of those indigenous people live “in extreme vulnerability due to threats to their health, their culture and the constant invasion of their territories,” the Peruvian government says. EFE


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