Threats seen to indigenous land rights
03 September 2017
Issues of land ownership and investment requirements are much on the agenda following President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s presidential address a month ago. Grassroots groups are much concerned at the project, now known as 1718-2017-PE, which was outlined in his speech on 28 July. A document produced by ‘El Colectivo Territorios Seguros para las Comunidades del Perú’ and the ‘Plataforma Gobernanza Responsable de la Tierra’ is being given publicity by the NGO Cooperacción.
The project seeks to amend the original decree law (DL) 1333, which was rejected by indigenous groups and subsequently voted down in Congress itself. The law was seen as introducing norms relating to expropriation that seriously threatened peasant and native communities and small-scale family farming. It was eventually deemed unconstitutional.
The new proposal is somewhat better in the procedures involved, but is still seen as a threat. It creates an institution APIP (Acceso a Predios para Proyectos de Inversión Priorizados) to manage the process and puts it within the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), a ministry with no experience of such matters, under the argument that delays in allocating real estate for public or private investment damage growth.
The proposal appears to do something to protect indigenous land rights by allowing the exclusion of property owned by indigenous’ groups but, as the groups point out, more than half of peasant communities are not recognised as indigenous and many that are recognised lack land titles or even cadastral information.
The groups ask for proper dialogue and an appropriate use of prior consultation (consulta previa).