A 20-year struggle to protect the territory of uncontacted tribes in Peru is at risk after an unprecedented campaign by an oil company targeting their land.
Perenco is an Anglo-French company founded and owned by the billionaire Perrodo family. It has been operating in the rainforests of northern Peru for many years, despite the confirmed presence of uncontacted tribes inside its concession, which is known as Block 67.
Indigenous organizations in Peru have lobbied for twenty years to have the area, known as Napo-Tigre, protected as an Indigenous Reserve for the uncontacted tribes. Countless studies have confirmed the tribes’ presence, and in July this year an official Commission formally recognized their existence – a vital step towards their protection.
But Perenco views the reserve’s creation as a threat to its operations, and has mounted an unprecedented campaign to subvert the process.
It has filed a lawsuit demanding that the authorities scrap their plans to create the reserve, and has even insisted that it should participate in the meetings of the official commission that decides whether to protect the land. It has also explicitly denied that uncontacted tribes live there.
Oil drilling in the territories of uncontacted tribes puts their very survival at risk. Besides forest destruction and pollution, and the real danger of a violent encounter, the entry of oil workers risks introducing outside diseases to which the tribes have no immunity, and which can wipe them out entirely.
Perenco has ignored protests and letters from Peruvian indigenous organizations, support groups and Survival. It appears that only a forceful international campaign can persuade them to change course.
Please email Francois Perrodo, Perenco’s Chairman, urging the company to stop attacking the rights of the uncontacted tribes of the Napo-Tigre region in Peru.