Sunday, April 4, 2010

Press Release

The Organization for the Development of the Border Communities of El Cenepa (ODECOFROC) informs the national and international public of the attempts to transfer the Awajún and Wampís border territory in the Cordillera del Cóndor (Condor Mountain Range) to the mining concessions held by the company, Afrodita S.A.C., which is owned by the Canadian company, Dorato Resources Inc.
In light of this problem, ODECOFROC has presented its research report entitled “A Chronicle of Deception” and the video “The Amazon for Sale”, which reveal the existing interests behind the mining concession approval process, as well as the unilateral reduction of the Ichigkat Muja National Park, which original area was agreed upon with Awajún and Wampís communities, based on a broad participatory process and environmental scientific studies conducted by the government itself.
The video is available at the following web site (in English):
The book is also available at the following web site (in English):
The dissemination hereof would be greatly appreciated.
Brief summary of the facts:
The report and video argue and demonstrate that the Peruvian government acted in bad faith by modifying the original proposal to create the Ichigkat Muja National Park agreed upon with the Awajún and Wampís indigenous communities of the District of El Cenepa, Department of Amazonas, Peru. The proposal to create a protected natural area in the Cordillera del Cóndor, the traditional land of these peoples, was prepared together with the environmental authority of the Peruvian government through a long negotiation process and detailed scientific studies, with the purpose of preserving an extremely vulnerable area at the headwaters of the Cenepa River, considered to be particularly important for the indigenous populations and humanity from a cultural, biological and economic point of view.
The report also proves that the Peruvian government acted in this manner in order to benefit mining entrepreneurs, some of whom maintain strong political ties with senior government officials, in open violation of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Convention on Human Rights. As a result, the territory of these peoples has been threatened, and their rights, not to mention the national and international laws that protect them, have been challenged.
This situation serves as a basis for the claims made by the indigenous movement that led to massive demonstrations in 2008 and 2009, in addition to a prolonged strike, which culminated in the bloody events of Bagua (June 5, 2009), when the government violently intervened to evacuate the Awajún and Wampís contingents that had blocked a highway.

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