On 27 February, members of the Awajún and Wampis peoples staged a protest outside the justice ministry demanding an effective and thorough enquiry into the death of one of their leaders.
Américo Entzacua Santiak was found dead on 13 February in the town of Juan Velasco Alvarado, Santa María de Nieva in Condorcanqui district (Amazonas). His body showed signs of him having been tortured before he was killed.
His murder took place a day after the Amazonas regional government had conceded to the demands of the Awajún and Wampis over annulment of a government decision affording legal recognition to two spurious indigenous communities. The Awajún and Wampis alleged that these communities had been recognised solely to legitimise the mining activities in the Cordillera del Cóndor.
Other indigenous leaders have received threats. According to the Comité de Lucha de la Organización de Desarrollo de las Comunidades Fronterizas del Cenepa (ODECOFROC), its president, Luis Shigkin, was attacked on his way to alert the authorities of Americo Entsakua Santiak’s killing.
Indigenous communities also requested that the government forms a dialogue table on issues of land titling and management, indigenous views on sustainable economic development (‘buen vivir’), education projects and agroforestry production.
The Awajún and Wampis also are calling on the government to tackle regional and local corruption end illegal logging, illegal mining and drug trafficking, all activities that threaten their ancestral lands and environment. They demand proper prior consultation before the granting of mining and oil concessions as well as guarantees as to the safety of their leaders in defending indigenous rights.