Letter: Open Letter to President Castillo from the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP)

Given the current situation, the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (Aidesep), representing more than 1800 communities, 109 federations and 9 regions, states the following:

Three weeks ago in a radio program, the now premier, Hector Valer accused indigenous peoples of being “tenacious landowners”, and “paralyzing the national economy”, proposed to convert the communal into individual property, in addition to accusing the native communities of drilling the pipeline and attacking those who protest on the highway.

Valer ignores the studies on the pipeline (Congressional Report of 2.11.2017 and others) that detail evidence on its 474 breaks due to corrosion and failures (between 2000-2019); documents which exonerate the communities and suspect the business of $434 million in”repairs” with businessmen linked to Petroperu. Likewise, in 2009, as an official of Alan Garcia, he tried to divide AIDESEP and other indigenous organizations to justify the repression in the Baguazo (https://n9.cl/13ys3).

The above is added to the precedents and positions of other ministers that generate alarm and scandal. This revives the racist prejudice and aggressiveness of the “dog in the manger” (neither eats, nor lets the sheep be eaten), of great national and international rejection, which is inadmissible under a government that committed itself to respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples and communities. This racist threat must be warned, rectified, slowed down and stopped outright.

The indigenous Amazon will never converge with the other face of the same racism, which operates in Congress and which maneuvers for presidential vacancy or paralysis, and which includes the same racist party that brought the premier to Congress. But neither will it allow the government to deny and destroy our rights and organizations. From our political autonomy and self-determination we reiterate our demands for land titling and territorial security, autonomy and territorial self-governance as peoples, defense of environmental defenders, indigenous bioeconomy received from extra-activism, intercultural bilingual health and education, Redd+ Indígena and other climate alternatives; and we demand the government’s definitions in this regard.

AIDESEP will not allow the destruction of our peoples and the criminalization of protest and its leaders. The indigenous peoples are outraged and in general alarm, and will make decisions according to the actions taken by the government and especially by you regarding your commitments to the indigenous peoples.

NO to racism of any kind and respect for indigenous rights! NO to the return of the racist violence of the “dog in the manger”!

You can read the letter in Spanish here