Target: Dr. Carlos Américo Ramos Heredia, Attorney General of Peru
Goal: Protect an indigenous community from violence and investigate the murderes of four activists
The Asháninka community of Alto Tamaya-Saweto in the Peruvian Amazon has recently lost four community leaders: Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quinticima Meléndez and Francisco Pinedo. It is suspected that the men, who advocated against illegal logging on Asháninka lands, were murdered by loggers. An investigation has been launched, but in the meantime, the safety of the community hangs in the balance. Sign this petition to urge Peruvian authorities to protect members of the Asháninka community from further violence and to thoroughly and promptly investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of these four activists.
The men were on their way to Brazil for a conference when they were allegedly killed by illegal loggers. All four were leaders in the Alto Tamaya-Saweto community, and Edwin Chota Velera had recently led a delegation to Peru’s capital city of Lima to discuss the Asháninka community’s rights to their ancestral territories with the president of the Council of Ministers. The delegation brought up the issue of illegal logging and demanded governmental protection for the community.
Authorities in Peru appear to be taking the deaths very seriously, but it is imperative that the rest of the community is protected during the investigations. Sign this petition to urge the government to provide both short-term protections and long-term solutions to the Alto Tamaya-Saweto community.
Dear Attorney General Heredia,
The recent deaths of Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quinticima Meléndez, and Francisco Pinedo are a sad loss for the Asháninka community of Alto Tamaya-Saweto. I am glad that the government appears to be taking this tragedy seriously and mounting a thorough investigation. In the meantime, however, I am concerned for the safety of Alto Tamaya-Saweto’s community members. I urge you to offer them every protection in your power until those who killed these community leaders are brought to justice. Let this terrible loss be a turning point in how the government works to protect the interests of indigenous groups.
The four activists are believed to have been murdered by loggers illegally infringing upon Asháninka lands. While it is imperative that those responsible be caught and brought to justice, this alone will not constitute a long-term solution to the problem of loggers trespassing on and stealing from Asháninka lands. The government and the community must continue the work of Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quinticima Meléndez, and Francisco Pinedo.
Until that point, however, the people of Alta Tamaya-Saweto remain at risk of retaliatory violence. Their safety is of the utmost importance, and I urge you to work with community members to provide them with protections in accordance with their wishes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ministério da Cultura via Wikimedia Commons