Peru Approves Gas Project Within Native Reserve

posted on March 18th, 2014 in Amazon Jungle, Indigenous Rights, Uncontacted Tribes

The Kugapakori Nahua Nanti Reserve on the border of Manu National Park, Peru

The Kugapakori Nahua Nanti Reserve on the border of Manu National Park, Peru

(Note: the author of this blog lived in this area of Peru with the recently contacted Nahua (Yora) in the late 1980s. The uncontacted Nahua’s land was originally invaded in the early 1980s by Royal Dutch Shell Oil, which detonated explosive charges in their territory. The invasion ultimately led to the Nahua’s contact with the outside world. Roughly 30% of the Nahua population died within two years of the contact, due to an epidemic of whooping cough, for which they had no natural defense.The Peruvian government created the Nahua-Kugapakori Territorial Reserve in 1990 to protect the territorial rights of the Nahua, Nanti (uncontacted Machiguenga) and other uncontacted or recently-contacted peoples living in the area. The reserve also serves as a buffer to Peru’s enormous Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Now, thirty years after their first contact, the Nahua and other groups of isolated indigenous peoples are once again under assault, this time by a new group of oil companies, facilitated by the Peruvian government–KM).

January 27, 2014

Peru Approves Gas Project, Spells Disaster for Uncontacted Tribes

Survival International

Uncontacted Nanti could be decimated by plans to detonate thousands of explosive charges and allow hundreds of workers to flood onto their land.

Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of uncontacted Amazon tribes – despite international outrage, the resignation of three ministers, and condemnation by the United Nations and international human rights organizations.

Peru’s Ministry of Culture, tasked with protecting the country’s indigenous population, has approved plans by oil and gas giants Pluspetrol (Argentina), Hunt Oil (US) and Repsol (Spain) to detonate thousands of explosive charges, drill exploratory wells and allow hundreds of workers to flood into the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, located just 100 km from Machu Picchu.

The expansion could decimate the uncontacted tribes living in the reserve, as any contact between gas workers and the Indians is likely to result in the spread of diseases or epidemics to which the Indians lack immunity.

Pluspetrol itself recognizes the devastating impact the expansion could have. In its ‘Anthropological Contingency Plan’ the company states that any diseases transmitted by workers could cause ‘prolonged periods of illness, massive deaths, and, in the best cases, long periods of recovery.’

Protests were held around the world against the plans to expand the Camisea gas project in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.

When oil giant Shell first started explorations in the area, it led to the death of nearly half the Nahua tribe. One Nahua man recounted, ‘Many, many people died. People dying everywhere, like fish after a stream has been poisoned. People left to rot along stream banks, in the woods, in their houses. That terrible illness!’

Raya, a Nahua elder who survived contact.

Raya, a Nahua elder who survived contact.

The project violates Peruvian and international laws which require the consent of any projects carried out on tribal peoples’ land.

Last year, protests were held around the world to stop the expansion of Camisea, and more than 131,000 Survival supporters have sent a message to Peru’s President Humala demanding a halt to the oil and gas work on uncontacted tribes’ land. Today, Survival handed the list of the thousands of petition signatures to the Peruvian embassy in London.

As a result of the high profile campaign by tribal rights organization Survival International, local organizations AIDESEP, FENAMAD, COMARU and ORAU, and others, to stop the expansion, seismic testing has been averted from riverways and the location of one well was moved from the land of an isolated tribe.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Thirty years ago workers prospecting for the Camisea deposit penetrated deep into the territory of the Nahua people – and soon after, half the tribe were wiped out by flu and similar diseases. Has the Peruvian government really learnt nothing from history, that it is prepared to risk this happening again for the sake of a few more gas wells?’


Peru’s Amazon Highway Puts Uncontacted Tribes At Risk

posted on July 3rd, 2012 in Amazon Jungle, Environment, Indigenous Rights, Peru, Uncontacted Tribes

New Amazon Highway ‘Would Put Peru’s Last Lost Tribes At Risk

Eco-campaigners clash with developers over plan to build 125-mile road through rainforest

June 30, 2012
The Observer


Members of the uncontacted Mashco-Piro tribe photographed through a telescope late last year

A fierce row has broken out over a controversial plan to drive a road through pristine Amazon rainforest, imperilling the future of some of the world’s last uncontacted tribes.

The 125-mile (200km) road would pass through the Alto Purús national park in Peru, connecting a remote area to the outside world but opening up the most biologically and culturally important area of the upper Amazon to logging, mining and drug trafficking. Opponents of the plan fear it will threaten the existence of uncontacted tribes such as the Mashco-Piro. The first detailed photographs of members of the tribe made headlines around the world earlier this year after they were spotted on a riverbank.


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Tourists Witness Uncontacted Amazon Tribe in Peru

posted on February 3rd, 2012 in Amazon Jungle, Indigenous Rights, Peru, Recent Discoveries, Uncontacted Tribes

Uncontacted Mashco Piro Indians in Peru

A group of uncontacted Mashco Piro Indians, one of an estimated fifteen uncontacted Indian tribes in Peru

Peru Struggles To Keep Outsiders Away From Uncontacted Amazon Tribe
Mashco-Piro Indians have been spotted on the banks of a river popular with tourists after increasing logging in the area

Jan 31, 2012

Peruvian authorities say they are struggling to keep outsiders away from a clan of previously isolated Amazon Indians who began appearing on the banks of a jungle river popular with environmental tourists last year.



Leonardo di Caprio, Ed Norton and Al Gore Pay Ecuador Not to Extract Oil

posted on January 3rd, 2012 in Amazon Jungle, Ecuador, Environment, Indigenous Rights

Leonardo DiCaprio Bridgestone Ecopia Tire Ad

Leonardo DiCaprio in a Bridgestone “Ecopia” Tire Ad, a tire that reduces your carbon footprint. He is also part of the Yasuni National Park “crowd-funding” initiative in Ecuador.

World pays Ecuador not to extract oil from rainforest

Governments and film stars join alliance that raises £75m to compensate Ecuador for lost revenue from 900m barrels

The Guardian

An alliance of European local authorities, national governments, US film stars, Japanese shops, soft drink companies and Russian foundations have stepped in to prevent oil companies exploiting 900m barrels of crude oil from one of the world’s most biologically rich tracts of land…



Indigenous Languages Face Extinction

posted on October 2nd, 2011 in Indigenous Rights


 Cristina Calderon the last speaker of the Yamana language

 87-year-old Cristina Calderon is the last speaker of the Yamana language. Three of her ancestors met Charles Darwin and the King and Queen of England. She lives in Puerto Williams, Navarino Island, near the southern tip of Patagonia

Indigenous Languages in Final Throes

Languages like Kiliwua in Mexico, Amanayé in Brazil, Záparo in Ecuador and Mashco Piro in Peru are on the verge of disappearing. Their extinction would be a tragedy for humanity, warn linguists.

 Oct 2, 2011

MEXICO CITY, (Tierramérica).- Hundreds of languages disappeared from Latin America and the Caribbean over the past 500 years, and many of the more than 600 that have survived could face the same fate in the not-so-distant future.

United Nations agencies and many experts maintain that it is an avoidable tragedy, but there are those who see it as the inherent fate of almost every language…



Amazon Dam Sting, James Cameron Fought Against Gets Go-Ahead from Brazil Government

posted on March 15th, 2011 in Amazon Jungle, Brazil, Environment, Indigenous Rights

Chief Raoni of Kayapo Indians

Chief Raoni, a Kayapo Indian, has been a central figure in fighting against the dam

Brazil court reverses Amazon Monte Belo dam suspension

March 3, 2011


A court in Brazil has approved a controversial hydro-electric project in the Amazon rainforest, overturning an earlier ruling.

Last week a judge blocked construction of the Belo Monte dam, saying it did not meet environmental standards.

But a higher court on Thursday said there was no need for all conditions to be met in order for work to begin.

Critics say the project threatens wildlife and will make thousands of people homeless…



Aerial Footage Proves Existence of Brazil’s Uncontacted Tribes

posted on February 10th, 2011 in Amazon Jungle, Brazil, Indigenous Rights, Uncontacted Tribes

(Note: An estimated 100 uncontacted tribes still exist in the world, with the majority of them inhabiting Brazil (with an estimated 67 uncontacted tribes) and Peru (with 15). Most are located not far from the Peru-Brazil border in the Amazonian portions of those countries. Meanwhile, more than 180 oil and gas blocks now cover most of the western Amazon, the most species rich area on earth and home to many uncontacted or extremely isolated tribes. Many of these oil and gas concessions currently overlap indigenous territories, that is, land that has either been titled to native groups or else is currently lived upon by isolated tribes. Recently, a BBC film crew flew over an uncontacted village of what are probably Panoan natives in Brazil’s remote jungle near the Peruvian border. The following is a film clip of that footage from Survival International):

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“Tarzan Agitator” Paul McAuley To Be Expelled by Peru

posted on July 5th, 2010 in Amazon Jungle, Indigenous Rights, Peru

Tarzan Agitator Expelled from Peru

(Note: updates follow the article below)

Peru to expel British ‘Tarzan agitator’ Paul McAuley

Missionary told to leave after helping Amazon tribes resist incursion of oil, gas and mining firms into the rainforest
By Rory Carroll

The Guardian

July 2, 2010

Peru has ordered the expulsion of a British missionary who was dubbed a “Tarzan agitator” for helping Amazon tribes to resist the incursion of oil, gas and mining companies into the rainforest



BP Oil Catastrophe Mirrors Texaco-Chevron Amazon Disaster

posted on June 5th, 2010 in Amazon Jungle, Ecuador, Environment, Indigenous Rights

Pool of oil in Lagros, Ecuador from Texaco

A pool of oil in Lago Agrio, an Ecuadorean town in the Amazon where Texaco is accused of having dumped millions of gallons of contamination in local rivers and lakes in order to save the company money. Chevron later purchased Texaco, and has inherited Texaco’s legal troubles

Disaster in the Amazon

By Bob Herbert

June 4, 2010

BP’s calamitous behavior in the Gulf of Mexico is the big oil story of the moment. But for many years, indigenous people from a formerly pristine region of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador have been trying to get relief from an American company, Texaco (which later merged with Chevron), for what has been described as the largest oil-related environmental catastrophe ever…



Anglo-French Oil Company Perenco Plans Amazon Invasion

posted on June 3rd, 2010 in Amazon Jungle, Environment, Indigenous Rights, Peru

Waorani Indians in Ecuador

A group of Waorani Indians in Ecuador with blow pipes

( Note: At a time when oil is gushing unchecked into the Gulf of Mexico, despoiling one of the richest ecosystems in the Americas, another oil company, Perenco, moves closer to building an oil pipeline through one of the remotest areas of the Amazon, in northern Peru, with the risk of oil workers making a potentially deadly contact with one or more uncontacted Amazonian tribes.  Oil workers and illegal loggers have been invading indigenous territories–with often deadly consequences for native peoples–for the last one hundred years–Kim MacQuarrie)