- Our legal claims

The Organization for the Development of the Border Communities of El Cenepa (ODECOFROC) has submitted on August 4, 2009 -and recently has updated on February 17, 2010- a request for “Urgent Action” to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), demanding that the Peruvian Government provide the international community with an explanation regarding its racist and discriminatory conduct to the detriment of the Awajún and Wampís peoples living in the border District of El Cenepa, near the Condor Mountain Range.

The indigenous peoples have lodged this request with CERD due to the existence of an ongoing official policy to partake in socio-economic exclusion and discrimination, which is manifested through a variety of aspects and in a particular very conflictive context:

  • The area assigned to mining interests constitutes the ancestral territory of the Awajún and Wampís peoples, who were neither consulted, nor from whom consent was obtained. [read here]
  • The Peruvian Government has impeded and hindered the registration of land of the Awajún and Wampís peoples. [read here]
  • The Peruvian Government has failed to comply with its obligation to protect the right of the Awajún and Wampís peoples to a safe and stable environment by refusing to preserve and protect both the biodiversity and the environment present in their territories. [read here]
  • Mining companies have put pressure on protected natural areas in the indigenous territories. [read here]
  • The state body known as the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) recognized the impossibility of performing mining activities in Awajún territory, but favourably approved the mining claims and the reduction of the Ichigkat Muja Park. [read here]
  • The State neither has the political will, nor the institutional capacity to prevent or mitigate the environmental contamination of indigenous territories. [read here]
  • Mining rights are granted while explicitly and openly ignoring the right to consultation and free self-determination of the Awajún and Wampís peoples. [read here]
  • The impending threat of serious conflicts will continue, subsequently affecting human rights. [read here]
  • Recent incidents of conflict have been caused due to a lack of consultation. [read here]
  • International observations and recommendations made to Peru have not yet been accepted by the Government. [read here]
  • The Awajún and Wampís peoples, living in the Department of Amazonas, have endured constant discrimination insofar as the enjoyment of economic and social rights is concerned. [read here]
  • A policy of impunity has been implemented with regard to the violence committed by the police forces against the Awajún and Wampís indigenous peoples. [read here]
  • Negative statements and racist and denigrating speeches have been made against the indigenous peoples by public figures, journalists and the mass media, which have been encouraged or tolerated by the Government. [read here]
  • Indigenous peoples have rights to Land and Health, as stated in international law. [read here]
  • The national mining legislation is legally incompatible with indigenous rights. [read here]
ODECOFROC´s President Zebelio Kayap submit an Urgent
Appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, Prof. James Anaya

This request for Urgent Action and its up-dating has been submitted to CERD following a previous request for “Urgent Appeal” presented in June 17, 2009 and up-dated on February 22, 2010 to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, Dr. James Anaya, during his visit to Peru to investigate the mournful events that took place in Bagua.

In that occasion and during a special and private session, officers of the Special Rapporteur as well as the Regional Officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sr. Jorge Araya, received direct information about the Awajun´s situation from an indigenous commission composed by six Apus (indigenous traditional leaders) of El Cenepa region.

© Photos by Marco Huaco. All rights reserved.