The Wampís Nation responds to attacks by illegal miners in Puerto Galilea
After more than half a year from the commitment of the national authorities to execute a third interdiction operation at the illegal mining site established in the Pastacillo stream basin, tributary of the Santiago and Marañón River, in the Amazon region [of Peru], The Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampís Nation (GTANW), in view of the breach of this commitment, agreed and decided to peacefully evict the illegal miners from that area.
The operation was carried out on July 13, in coordination with the Municipal District of Santiago, and included the participation of approximately 200 members of the wampís communities near the Villa Gonzalo community.
They arrived at the mining establishment in the morning and the workers were peacefully asked to leave the area. At that point the only dredging machine there was confiscated and destroyed. In the afternoon, in Puerto Galilea, a group of people from the community of Yutupis, made up mostly of indigenous Awajun and who are divided because of members who profit from illegal mining, attacked the wampis who had participated in the operation against the illegal mining. A total of four wampís men were wounded in the confrontation.
At the moment, we Wampís are developing collective meetings in order to reach agreements and to take new actions in the future that deal with the onslaught of illegal miners. At the same time, we are demanding the presence of the National Police of Peru in the area to avoid a recurrence of violent episodes on the part of those who work in and benefit from illegal mining.
It should be mentioned that the decision of the action was also communicated in a timely way to the main relevant authorities, such as the PCM (Fernando Zavala), the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the District Attorny's office specializing in Bagua's environmental issues, and the PNP of Santa María de Nieva; and requesting of them the necessary support and guarantees.
Through this press release we reiterate our commitment to the defense, protection and preservation of our territories, forests and biodiversity; and we urge the authorities of the Peruvian State to intervene and provide the necessary guarantees for the lives of the indigenous peoples who watch over, protect and fight for humanity's right to a good life.
Puerto Galilea, July 14, 2017.
Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampís Nation