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Artikel Publication logo October 17, 2021

Shipibo-Konibo Communities Challenge Mennonite Colony Under Investigation for Deforestation in the Amazon (Spanish)

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The invasion and deforestation of communal lands in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest is a recurrent...

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The story excerpt and photo captions below were translated from Spanish. To read the original story in full, visit OjoPúblico. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.


The cool morning wind and the sun's rays can be seen across the back of Policarpo Sinarahua Taminchi (50), the head of the Buenos Aires Indigenous community, located in the Ucayali region of Peru. As they walk, he and his companions observe how deforestation is advancing in the forests since, five years ago, a group of people belonging to the Christian Mennonite movement settled in a part of their communal territory.

This locality is seven hours from the city of Pucallpa and, to get there, one must travel in an outboard motor boat (known as a "colectivo rápido"). One can also use the route along the river from Pucallpa to the town of Masisea, and from there travel by motorcycle cab to the community. Forty-seven families belonging to the Shipibo-Konibo indigenous people live in Buenos Aires.


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The Mennonite colony in Ucayali opened roads and deforested forests to plant rice and soybeans in Indigenous territory. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.
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The communities of Buenos Aires and Caimito, in Masisea, have organized to protect their forests and prevent deforestation. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.

MAAP has verified deforestation by a new Mennonite colony in southern Loreto. In this department and in Ucayali, 3,400 hectares have been destroyed. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.
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In Ucayali, the Mennonite colony has destroyed 800 hectares of forest in the Indigenous communities of Buenos Aires and Caimito, in Masisea. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.
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Children are shown in the waters of the Imiría lake, in Masisea. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.

The deforestation of the forests in the communities of Ucayali not only depletes the resources, but also the livelihoods of the population. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.

Caimito is a Shipibo-Konibo Indigenous community that lived in peace before the arrival of the Mennonite colony. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.

Elva Cruz Nunta complains that the Mennonites are destroying her forests, medicinal plants and animals. Image by David Díaz. Peru, 2021.

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