Peru: Amazon highway moves ahead in Congress, indigenous leaders protest

The Transportation and Communications Commission of Peru’s Congress on June 7 approved Law 1035-2011, introduced by the fujimorista bloc, that would declare the “public necessity and national interest” of a new highway between Puerto Esperanza, Purús province, Ucayali department, and Iñapari, Tahuamanu province, Madre de Dios department—cutting through Alto Purús National Park, and territory believed to shelter isolated or “uncontacted” indigenous bands. Peru’s Amazonian indigenous alliance AIDESEP and its Madre de Dios regional affiliate FENAMAD protested that the region’s native inhabitants had not been consulted on the measure, and charged that the road would impact the Madre de Dios Territorial Reserve for isolated peoples. The law now goes to the full Congress for debate. But Verónika Mendoza, leader of the Commission on Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples, insisted that her commission should have to sign off on the bill before it goes to the floor as well. (InfoRegión, June 11; La Republica, June 10; AIDESEP, June 7)

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  1. Controversial Amazon highway moves forward

    Peru's Congress on Dec. 7 approved Bill 1123/2016-CR, allowing the construction of roads in the Amazonian region of Ucayali. Affected projects include the Puerto Esperanza- Iñapar highway which indigenous adocates say will cause serious damage to the uncontacted peoples and natural protected areas. (Servindi)