IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures to Families of the Kichwa Indigenous Community of Santa Rosillo de Yanayacu in Peru

March 26, 2024

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Washington, D.C. — On March 25, 2024, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 13/2024, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of families from the Kichwa indigenous community of Santa Rosillo de Yanayacu, in Huimbayoc district, in the Peruvian province and region of San Martín, who are working to protect the community or are taking actions to improve the safety of the community and achieve the collective titling of their territory. The IACHR deemed these families to be at extreme and urgent risk of experiencing irreparable damage to their rights.

The petition alleged that the beneficiaries were at risk due to their work defending their collective rights against illegal activities. It reported that the community's leader was killed in November 2023 and also mentioned the acts of intimidation, death threats, and violence that have allegedly been perpetrated since 2018 by "settlers" who have moved into the area.

The State reported on the protection measures that have been taken. Specifically, it reported on the actions taken by the Peruvian National Police Force and the protection measures implemented for the relatives of the leader who was murdered and other members of the community, who were moved to the city of Tarapoto and provided protection by police patrols on foot and in vehicles.

After analyzing the information presented by the two parties, the IACHR gave a positive assessment of the measures taken by the State to ensure the beneficiaries' safety. However, the IACHR also considered that the implementation of these protection measures has not prevented events that pose a threat to the community from continuing. The murder of one of the community's leaders in November 2023 confirms this view.

Furthermore, the IACHR noted that, according to information provided by the State, there are limitations to the protection that the proposed beneficiaries are actually receiving. According to a report by the Peruvian National Police Force in December 2023, it does not have the resources, logistical means, or personnel to carry out surveillance operations.

Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Peru:

  1. adopt the necessary and culturally appropriate measures to protect the lives and personal integrity of the beneficiaries. Among other things, it requested that the State take the measures necessary to guarantee the safe return of the beneficiaries who were moved to the city of Tarapoto to their community;
  2. agree on any measures to be taken with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and
  3. report on the actions it implements to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the Inter-American System of Human Rights to allege violations of the rights protected by the applicable instruments.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 063/24

10:30 AM