Representatives of indigenous organizations in Peru met in Lima Feb. 20 to announce that they have rejected proposed implementing regulations for the new Law of Prior Consultation for Indigenous and Original Peoples, and submitted proposals for improving it. Alberto Pizango, national leader of the Amazonian indigenous alliance AIDESEP called on the government to extend approval of the regulations by 30 days to accommodate indigenous leaders’ recommendations. He singled out the demand that binding consultation apply to oil and mineral projects already underway, not only new ones. “We appeal to dialogue, we only want to defend our rights,” he said. Leading organizations in the Multisectoral Commission that evaluated the regulations included AIDESEP, the Agrarian Confederation of Peru (CNA) and the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Women (ONAMIAP).
Press accounts on the announcement noted that Peru’s human rights ombudsman, the Defensoría del Pueblo, last month noted a sharp increase in social conflicts. Their annual report found 153 active and 75 latent social conflicts across the country, with 56% of the total rooted in “socio-environmental” causes. (Andina, EFE, Feb. 20)