Target: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala
Goal: Give a persecuted people in the Peruvian Amazon control over their full ancestral homelands.
In Peru, the government has long trampled upon indigenous rights. Now the Ese’eja, whose homeland is in the Tambopata Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, are desperate to avoid the loss of their ancestral homelands that so many other indigenous groups have faced. Losing their land means losing their way of life, but if they are given more power over the Tambopata Reserve they might stave off that loss.
Currently the Ese’eja people have official control over a small fraction of their true homeland. This was not an issue when no one was intruding on their territory, but now that outsiders are, more legal Ese’eja control of the Tambopata Reserve is needed.
Inactivity from the government has resulted in major forays from illegal gold miners into the Tambopata Reserve along the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, with all of the ensuing violence and environmental degradation that entails. Mining operations pepper the shores of the Madre de Dios in clear view of the rare passing boat, letting poisonous byproducts such as mercury run straight into the water.
The Ese’eja are the people most invested in preserving the Tambopata Reserve because it is where their ancestors, spirits, and families have been for generations and they rely on a healthy jungle to sustain their lives. Helping them to help the Tambopata Reserve benefits everyone. Even the illegal gold miners are hurting their own future children by degrading the rainforest.
If the government is not going step up to protect the Tambopata Reserve, let the Ese’eja take over. Help us spread attention for their cause.
Dear President Humala,
The Tambopata Reserve—and the entire Amazon—is a priceless national and global treasure, as is the knowledge that the indigenous people have of its many wonders. It, and its people, must be preserved for the future.
Give the people who care about it the most the most power to protect it.
The Ese’eja have lived on their ancestral homelands for generations and they have a right to the land that holds the bones of their ancestors. How would you feel if bunch of strangers walked onto your land and started digging up your vegetable garden and poisoning your well water? What if the strangers said, “well, you don’t need all of it, you can just have that corner, I’ll take the part where your grandmother was buried?”
Might does not make right. Let the Ese’eja have what is rightfully their own.
[Your name here]
Photo credit: Sarah Driver