Extraction: The Plundering of the Amarakaeri Reserve
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Extraction: The Plundering of the Amarakaeri Reserve

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October 15, 2010

A short documentary film about the unsanctioned plundering of Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, the traditional territory of the Harakmbut Peoples in the Peruvian Amazon.

The Amarakaeri Communal Reserve was created in 2002 to help protect several important river basins, ensure the ecological stability of the land and to provide protected zones for the Harakmbut, Yine and Machiguenga Peoples.

However, in 2006, the Peruvian government, without considering the needs or rights of the Indigenous Peoples, gave more than 90% of the reserve to the Texas-based company Hunt Oil.

Since then, the Indigenous People have been working to get the company out and to once again secure their ancestral land.

So far they haven’t had much success. Numerous protests have been organized, some lawsuits have been filed and, on several occasions they came close to evicting the company–most recently in October 2009–but even so, the company has just kept on working.

The Indigenous Peoples also turned to the CEO of the company in November 2009, demanding he travel to the reserve to meet the people that his company is casually endangering. Naturally, the CEO ignored the offer.

As far as headlines go, things have been fairly quiet for the past 10 months. Although, just a few weeks ago, the Harakmbut, Yine and Machiguenga, through their organization FENAMAD, took part in a very important international gathering, the Fourth Meeting Of Indigenous Peoples in the Tri-National area of Peru, Brazil, And Bolivia.

The gathering culminated with all Indigenous participants declaring a “State of Emergency” in the Amazon and pledging “to take joint action against the problems that we all suffer in this tri-border region,” whether it’s hydro development or resource extraction.

What does this mean for the Harakmbut, Yine and Machiguenga? If the declaration holds true, they will no longer have to struggle on their own. Instead, they will have direct support from their Brothers and Sisters in AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for Development of the Peruvian Rainforest), COIAB (Brazil Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon) and other Amazon organizations. For the land.

Extraction: The Plundering of the Amarakaeri Reserve was co-directed and produced by Ross Thomas and Jamie Roberts. Watch the video on YouTube.

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