"We Are Here So History Does Not Repeat Itself"

Aurelio Chino Dahua from Fediquep and Carlos Sandi Maynas from Feconaco, among other leaders and representatives. Photo: Puinamudt

- The Peruvian State does not respond properly to the communities and indigenous federations suspend the dialogue until July 23rd.

By Puinamudt

July 23, 2015.- Lack of a clear and precise response from the State regarding the demands of the communities from the Pastaza and Corrientes river basins (represented by the FEDIQUEP and FECONACO indigenous federations) has generated conflict during the latest phase of dialogue related to the Block 192 consultations.

After the State postponed meetings for three consecutive days and demonstrated a lack of capacity in its responses, nearly 50 current indigenous community leaders decided to suspend dialogue and allot a period of three working days in order to receive a definitive response.

The dialogue will remain suspended in the presence of the General Directorate of Environmental and Energy Affairs (DGAAE), Perupetro, the Ministry of Culture, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and institutions like Defensoría del Pueblo, OEFA, and MINAM.

"The state intends to repeat the same history from the last 45 years of oil exploitation," says the president of FECONACO, Carolos Sandi. From his perspective, Aurelio Chino, president of FEDIQUEP, says "Even after so much damage from 45 years of oil contamination, we are still here sitting and talking". The indigenous people are outraged by the lack of good faith on the part of the government representatives.

The point of debate that led to the problem was the first of 27 points. This refers to the social fund that the federations are demanding, through a trust fund which should appear in the concession’s legal contract between government and oil company. The State never provided security in respect to the effective fulfillment of this demand, which is one of the essential elements of the process.

Renato Baluarte, director of DGAEE, indicated that they needed more time, suggesting a weeklong period. Finally, after waiting a week for a response, and from a place of outrage, the present indigenous peoples have indicated that the final deadline will be this Thursday, July 23rd.

For her part, the representative from the Vice Ministry of Interculturality, Ángela Acevedo, referred to the dialoguing parties noting, "we are learning from you" and "at no time are we coming with bad faith".

Words and indignation from indigenous leaders

In many forms and tones, in the Achuar and Quechua languages, the leaders expressed their ideas and feelings, fears, anger, frustration, and assertiveness with the authorities and government representatives.

Thanks to the outstanding work of the translators and interpreters for each peoples, the words of the leaders arrived directly to the ear of the State. We share some of those numerous messages.

Magdelena Chino, indigenous mother of FEDIQUEP: "Mother Earth is suffering, her breast has dried up and she is crying for us. The animals are dying off".

Tedy Guerra, leader of Nuevo Andoas: "The Indians cannot understand, you say. Or because we have stood up, you say, the Indians just want money. We mobilize ourselves because we are defending our rights, and in this case for 30 more years."

Roman Dahua, leader of Loboyacu: "The State is used to living with oil and they do not want to give anything to us to live well. Meanwhile, the State does not accept our proposals and doesn’t want us to be able to say whether or not the oil is exploited."

Aurelio Chino, president of FEDIQUEP: "They say there is no money for our fund. Since 1970 until now where will the the oil profits have gone if they do not accept our proposal?"

Gerardo Maynas, delegate of the Nuevo Jerusalén community: "The act of internal evaluation of our peoples already has been shared with our communities, our agreements already are taken."

Magdalena Chino, indigenous mother of FEDIQUEP: "If you do not accept our proposals, was are going to return to our land, men and women, and we will decide to mobilize ourselves."

Abel Nango, leader of José Olaya community: "The State wants to cheat us."

Aurelio Chino, president of FEDIQEP: "The sickness, the contamination, all of the problems the oil company brought are not going to solved only with money. Right here we are making our destiny."

Carlos Sandi, president of FECONACO: "The State invested oil profits money just in the large cities, in just Lima and Iquitos, but not in our communities. What we have in our communities – high schools and other things – is from our efforts, from our struggles to demand our rights."

Aurelio Chino, president of FEDIQUEP: "It is easier to make regulations to destroy us but when they must make regulations to construct then yes they say it is more difficult."

Carlos Sandi, president of FECONACO: "We are not here because you are going to tender Block 192, we are here to resolve problems."

Source: http://amazonwatch.org/news/2015/0718-we-are-here-so-history-does-not-repeat-itself

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