Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Peru: Kichwa Peoples say no to PERENCO and call for the immediate suspension of its operations.


The Alta Napo Kichwaruna Wangurina Organization - ORKIWAN denounced that the French oil company PERENCO, after its entry into their area without any consultation and through questionable dealings with a corrupt sector of leaders and officials, seeks to divide and weaken the local organization and its links with the national organization AIDESEP, in order to avoid any claim or action in defense of indigenous lands.

An example of this is the behaviour of the oil company representative Italo Flores, who at the meeting in the community of Puerto Elvira, said that “some regional and national leaders are misinforming the public about the good work of the oil companies because they do not want the development of peoples, so the government has ordered to go after these bad leaders because they are whipping up the population which is manipulated by organizations opposed to progress.”

The comments of Flores (from PERENCO) created bad feeling in the assembly, causing the Indigenous attendees to decide unanimously, with 133 community authorities present, to not allow PERENCO to enter [the area] and for the immediate suspension of all activities being undertaken by the company. Later, they renewed the ORKIWAN leadership, now chaired by Professor Henry Coquinche Coquinche from the Angoteros native community, who was sworn in office in the course of this week, with all decisions to be sent to the roundtable which will take place between the Central Government and indigenous organizations in the Peruvian Amazon, as well as the Minister of Energy and Mines and President of the Republic.

The PERENCO representatives then left the area, promising to return within a month to continue their activities but the Alto Napo Kichwa brothers say they will not let them operate further – a scenario of social confrontation in the Peruvian Amazon in which the government is not acting as it should.

They also gave support to the Educational Program of Training of Bilingual Teachers-FORMABIAP that AIDESEP promotes and fosters. Thus, the pedagogical work that the FORMABIAP promotes through the CEBES (Communities and Schools for Well Being), in the village of Alto Napo Kichwa, in some schools in that jurisdiction, is moving ahead with public support.

Translated by Kiraz Janicke, republished from AIDESEP.

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