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Peru's New Indigenous Reserve

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

Peru is to establish a vast new rainforest reserve for isolated Indigenous peoples.

After nearly twenty years of discussion, the Peruvian government has moved to establish a new Indigenous reserve for “uncontacted peoples” deep in the Amazon rainforest. Yavarí Tapiche Indigenous Reserve, which covers 1.1 million hectares (2.7 million acres) on the Peru-Brazil border, is home to Matsés, Remo, and Marubo peoples, as well as other groups that have yet to be identified.

Yavarí Tapiche will be established under Peru’s law governing territories for peoples in isolation and initial contact (PIACI). These peoples, sometimes popularly known as “uncontacted tribes”, have little or no contact with the outside world and live in some of the world’s most biologically diverse landscapes, including remote parts of the Amazon Basin.

Under its PIACI law, Peru has defined ten territories for isolated peoples, of which four - including Yavarí Tapiche - have been categorized as an Indigenous reserve by the state. Two others were categorized as territorial reserves before the PIACI Law was approved and must be adapted, while four others are still waiting for the formal creation process to advance.

“It constitutes a historic milestone in the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples in a situation of isolation and initial contact,” the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.


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