Peru to Investigate Uncontacted Tribes’ ‘Possible’ Existence

The head of Peru’s indigenous affairs department, INDEPA, has promised to investigate the possible existence of uncontacted tribes in a region where an Anglo-French oil company wants to build a pipeline, according to a press report.

The promise, allegedly made by INDEPA’s director Mayta Cápac Alatrista, was reported in an article by the Inter Press Service (IPS).

Cápac said he ‘would propose the formation of a team of experts to investigate the case on the ground,’ said the IPS article. A government commission on uncontacted tribes ‘could at the same time set up a group of experts to verify the presence of uncontacted native groups in the area in question, said Cápac.’

Cápac’s comments were reported not long after Peru’s Energy Ministry admitted that the existence of uncontacted Indians in this region was ‘possible’ and requested the company, Perenco, to write an ‘anthropological contingency plan’ in case of contact. Perenco denies the tribes exist.

Perenco’s plans for the pipeline were made public on the Energy Ministry’s website very recently. The aim of the pipeline is to help transport an estimated 300 million barrels of oil from the Amazon to a terminal on Peru’s Pacific coast – oil deposits that high-ranking officials in Peru’s government say will transform the country’s economy.

Survival is an international organization supporting tribal peoples worldwide.