On 15 March, Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal pronounced the admissibility of an appeal made by a number of human rights and indigenous organizations, led by Asociación Interétnica de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP) and the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples of the Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos against Ley 30230. Specific mention is made of a number of articles (Arts. 36, 38-40, and 42-51). According to the plaintiffs, these violate the Peruvian constitution, as they contravene many fundamental human rights, including the right of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and the right to a clean and healthy environment.

Law 30230 was approved by Congress in July 2014. Its aim was to boost foreign investment. Among other things, it introduced a series of measures that severely shortened the time period within which environmental impact assessments (EIAs) must be appraised. It also reduced the sanctioning powers of the Organismo de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental (OEFA), the monitoring agency for extractive industries that is part of the Ministry of the Environment.

The Constitutional Tribunal also granted admissibility of an additional petition to issue an ‘interpretative sentence’ that reinforces previous sentences made by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in prohibiting any action deemed to violate the rights of indigenous people to their ancestral lands.

Congress is being notified of this and will be given time to gather information and respond appropriately. The final verdict by the Constitutional Court is pending.