Victory in Peru as corporations denied right to exploit Indigenous lands
Ashaninka Indigenous men, armed with shotguns and bows and arrows, force a truck transporting logs cut down in the Amazon forest to turn back around. | Franklin Briceno / AP

Activists welcomed on Saturday the decision by lawmakers to drop plans for a new law labelled a “Genocide Bill” by Peru’s Indigenous people. The bill would have opened up Indigenous lands for industrial exploitation by domestic and foreign capital—particularly for the extraction of lithium, copper, and other precious minerals.

In a dramatic reversal of fortune on Friday, the country’s Decentralization Committee blocked the law, which had been drafted by politicians with close ties to the powerful oil and gas industry.

Teresa Mayo of Survival International described this as “a huge victory for Peru’s Indigenous peoples, their organizations, and for thousands of ordinary people around the world who had joined the campaign against the proposals.”

Related Stories:

> As corporations eye lithium reserves, Peru’s right-wing coup congress invites in U.S. troops

> Indigenous rebellion continues as post-coup Peruvian government flounders

> Peruvians occupy the streets as anti-coup protests escalate

Indigenous organizations in Peru, such as the Inter-ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP) and the Regional Organisation of the Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO), had lobbied intensively to stop the bill, and more than 13,000 Survival supporters had written to the committee, urging them to block it.

Tabea Casique of AIDESEP said: “The scrapping of the draft bill protects our uncontacted relatives, their rights, and their lives, and avoids the genocide and ecocide that it would have unleashed.”

Roberto Tafur of ORPIO said his organization intended to “continue fighting for our brothers and sisters in the jungle, who don’t know that we’re fighting for them.”

Morning Star

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper.