Errors in International News Coverage on State of Emergency in Peruvian Amazon

The international news coverage of the state of emergency declared in the Pastaza region of the Peruvian Amazon cites Sixto Shapiama as the President of the Quichua federation of the Pastaza. Sixto is however the president of a Peruvian NGO, Asociacion Putumayo, who works with Quichua and Secoya federations of the Putumayo River. And the Putumayo River is a few hundred miles away from the Pastaza and not in the region affected by the oil contamination.

Aurelio Chino Dahua is the president of the Quechua federation of the Pastaza (FEDIQUEP), and has been leading his people for years to get Congressional and international attention to the contamination they have suffered. He has met with governmental representatives, participated in indigenous alliances, and organized mobilizations and protests—he has worked tirelessly to get this much-awaited recognition of the gravity of the situation.

He is also a founding member of PUINAMUDT – an indigenous movement established in 2011 through the union of FEDIQUEP from the Pastaza, FECONAT from the Tigre, ACODECOSPAT from the Maranon and FECONACO from the Corrientes. PUINAMUDT have been meeting with the Peruvian government for the last year presenting their demands and proposals which have led to the recent announcement.

Chino Dahua commented, “”We are still drinking contaminated water every day… We think that with the declaration of emergency the government will be forced to worry about us and can solve our problem sooner.”

Watch this video Alianza Arkana made with Aurelio Chino prior to the statement by the Peruvian government:

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Alianza Arkana has been supporting Aurelio Chino Dahua, his federation, and PUINAMUDT over the last 2 years and providing sustained financial support for legal representation seeking justice for the environmental and human rights abuses that are occuring on the four river basins affected by oil contamination in the northern Amazon in Peru.

Deborah Rivett, Wednesday, 27 March 2013

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