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30 Nov 2023


Peru: Indigenous land & environmental rights defender killed

Statement: We condemn the murder of our brother Quinto Inuma and reject the state's failure to implement effective protection mechanisms - AIDESEP, 30 November 2023

"The Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP), representing nine Indigenous organisations, 109 federations and 2,439 native communities, expresses its sincere condolences to the family of our brother Quinto Inuma Alvarado, who had been fighting for the collective titling of his community Santa Rosillo de Yanayacu-Huimbayoc, the base of the Coordinating Committee for the Development and Defence of the Indigenous Peoples of the San Martin Region (CODEPISAM). We also strongly condemn his cruel murder that took place on the afternoon of 29 November when the Kichwa leader was returning from Pucallpa accompanied by his family.

Quinto joins the long list of more than 30 indigenous leaders who have been assassinated for defending their territories and fighting tirelessly against the illegal activities that plunder our Amazon. Added to this is the failure of Peruvian state institutions to implement protection mechanisms that truly guarantee the lives of Indigenous defenders.

We warn that this terrible crime occurred while on the other side of the world the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) is beginning, where States, including the Peruvian State, will address measures to address the climate crisis. Can we talk about mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change if the security of indigenous peoples and the protection of their defenders is not guaranteed?

We demand that State institutions implement inter-sectoral mechanisms to guarantee the personal integrity and the lives of those who protect their ancestral territories on a daily basis from the worst aggressors, which are the mafias and criminal organisations. We need these protection mechanisms to be effective and not just declaratory roles!

We condemn the ineptitude of the state apparatus to deal with the constant and violent attacks against our brothers and sisters, who denounce these acts, but do not receive timely attention and these cases are not investigated according to the principles of due process and access to justice.

We urge the Ministry of the Interior to approve as soon as possible the Action Protocol for the implementation of protection measures for human rights defenders and the guidelines of the Plan of Activities for the timely implementation of measures and early warnings.

We demand that the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Judiciary begin investigations as soon as possible to find and punish those responsible for the horrendous crime of our brother Quinto.

We express our solidarity to the family, the community and the Kichwa People, we accompany them in this moment of pain and we will not rest until we achieve justice for our brother Quinto and also for all the indigenous defenders who have been murdered." - Unofficial translation provided by BHRRC

Further reading

Interview: Miguel Guimaraes

We spoke to Miguel Guimaraes, Vice President of AIDESEP, about challenges facing defenders in the Peruvian Amazon in 2021. Read the full interview.

HRDs database

Our database of attacks against human rights defenders working on business-related issues