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Latino Daily News

Sunday May 6, 2012

Peru’s New Amazon Road Could Threaten Uncontacted Tribes’ Land

Peru’s New Amazon Road Could Threaten Uncontacted Tribes’ Land

Photo: Uncontacted Tribes' Land in Danger

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Peru’s Congress is about to approve a highly controversial road that will divide the Madre de Dios Reserve, where at least two uncontacted tribes live.

Congressmen are considering a law that could declare the project a ‘public necessity’, and consequently bypass huge indigenous opposition.

The proposed road will run across the southeast of Peru’s Amazon from Puerto Esperanza in the Purus region near Brazil to Iñapari.

The project notably omits reference to uncontacted tribes, as well as opposition from the region’s indigenous peoples, who make up 80% of the population.

They fear the road will attract an onslaught of illegal loggers and colonists who would devastate their forest and the uncontacted Indians living there.

Puerto Esperanza’s Catholic priest Miguel Piovesan is widely considered to be the main driver behind the project.  He has insisted, “There is no danger of a logging invasion.”

However Peru’s comprehensive failure to curb illegal logging in the Amazon has been internationally condemned.  More than 114,000 people have signed a Survival International petition to stop the invasion of illegal loggers on uncontacted tribes’ land.