Peru’s government is ignoring new UN guidelines on the protection of isolated indigenous peoples in the Amazon, Survival International charged last week. The landmark February report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Norms for Protection of Indigenous Peoples in Isolation and Initial Contact of the Amazon Region, Gran Chaco and Oriental Region of Paraguay” PDF, in Spanish, makes clear that the lands of isolated tribes should be untouchable, and that “no rights should be granted that involve the use of natural resources.” However, Peru is allowing the country’s largest gas project to expand further into indigenous territories known to house numerous uncontacted Indians. The expansion plan adds to existing controversies around Argentine gas giant Pluspetrol and its notorious Camisea project in southeast Peru.
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