Massacre in Peruvian Amazon
Massacre in Peruvian Amazon Highlights Growing Land Conflict in the Wake of Oil Palm Expansion
Contact with local indigenous leaders for interviews available upon request.
Six campesinos from the Ucayali region in the Peruvian Amazon, members of a local family-farmers association, were brutally murdered on Friday, September 1st. After being attacked by a group of at least two dozen armed men, their bodies were thrown into a river.
Evidence indicates that the perpetrators sought to to evict campesinos from their lands in order for land traffickers to take control of the land and then turn around and sell it, potentially to an oil palm or other agribusiness company. In recent years, thousands of hectares of this region have been deforested and converted to oil palm plantations.
Amazon Watch issued the following statement about the murders:
"This massacre is tragic evidence of the growing conflict over land in the Peruvian Amazon. As oil palm companies expand operations in the region, illegal deforestation and land trafficking have grown, as have threats and attacks against the indigenous and campesino environmental human rights defenders trying to protect their ancestral territories and farmlands.
The Peruvian government must take concrete steps to address this violence and land grabbing throughout the region. In light of this particular case, at a minimum Peruvian authorities must bring to justice the intellectual authors behind the Nueva Requena massacre. The perpetrators of illegal deforestation in Ucayali – including international oil palm companies – should also be investigated and sanctioned. Furthermore, authorities in the Ucayali regional government need to grant the Shipibo community of Santa Clara de Uchunya their requested land title, thus ending the prospect of them being displaced by the same land traffickers responsible for the recent violence."