Photo: Uncontacted Tribes of Peruvian Amazon
Peru’s Culture Ministry has promised to protect an uncontacted tribe’s reserve in the Amazon amid fears that it would be shut down.
In a statement released last week, the ministry denied reports that it planned to abolish the Murunahua reserve, and stated that it is fully protected under Peruvian law.
The controversy was sparked by employees of the Indigenous Affairs Department, Indepa, which lies within the Culture Ministry, after they revealed plans to close the reserve in meetings with local organizations.
Luis Lacerna, the director of Indepa’s Indigenous Protection, Economic Development and Territory department, is currently the only employee whose identity has been revealed by the international press.
Indepa has been heavily criticized for failing to prevent widespread illegal logging that is forcing uncontacted tribes to flee from the reserve.
Survival welcomes the ministry’s announcement, and has written to Peru’s newly-elected president Ollanta Humala asking him how his government will protect the country’s vulnerable uncontacted tribes.