Ana Gamero

Wampis, the first autonomous indigenous government in Peru, stopped an oil company from operating in their territory.

Peru's first autonomous tribe refuses oil operations

Wampis, is considered the first autonomous indigenous community in Peru. Two years ago, they declared themselves a self-governing community. Wampis are originally from the Rio Santiago and Morona area, which is located in the province of Condorcanqui, in the Amazonas region of Peru, 1,500 km north-east of Lima.

In March of 2017, Wampis won a major victory over a private oil company that was granted permission to operate on Wampis’ land by the Fourth Constitutional Court of Lima.

The initial permission given to the oil company has been put on hold, as it awaits the approval from the indigenous group’s government. As a result, the oil corporation had to leave the area and stop their work until Wampis members and the Peruvian authorities discuss the issue.

In case the Wampis’ government decides to refuse the request, the Peruvian government might take them to court, claims the Independent.

It would be a major change if the Peruvian government fully recognizes Wampis as an independent community and carries out previous consultations. In this way, indigenous groups will have the legal right to be engaged in decisions that affect their lives.

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