Peru: Government mourns death of Ashaninka leader, environmental defender

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

10:33 | Lima, Jul. 2.

The Ministries of Environment, Interior, Justice and Human Rights have lamented the death of Mario Marco Lopez Huanca —an indigenous leader of the Shirarine native community in Puerto Bermudez district, Oxapampa province (Pasco region).

In a statement, the aforementioned ministries confirmed that —on June 28— Lopez Huanca was the victim of an attack with pellets that seriously affected his physical integrity. Thus, he was transferred to Ucayali Regional Hospital to receive specialized medical attention.

Unfortunately, he died as a result of the seriousness of his injuries on Thursday afternoon.

Mario Lopez Huanca was a member of the Board of Directors of the Administration Contract Executor of El Sira Communal Reserve (Ecosira) —an organization that co-manages the aforementioned Communal Reserve together with the National Service for Protected Natural Areas (Sernanp) —an institution that has been providing constant support to his relatives since the unfortunate events occurred.

The communiqué added that —in light of these events and within the framework of its functions— the Puerto Bermudez district Prosecutor's Office launched the corresponding proceedings, as part of a prosecutorial investigation to clarify the events with the aim of determining the reasons that would have led to said illegal acts and identifying those allegedly responsible.

For its part, the Interior Ministry has coordinated with the Prefectures of Ucayali and Pasco to grant protection to Mario Lopez Huanca's relatives and other people who may be at risk in the area where the events occurred.

In the same way, through the National Police of Peru, the Public Ministry has been supporting in the development of investigation procedures.

The ministries, which signed the statement, expressed their condolences to the relatives of Mario Lopez Huanca. Likewise, they condemned the serious acts and committed to spare no efforts with the aim of collaborating with their clarification and punishing those responsible, so that these acts do not go unpunished.

Moreover, the Ministries of Environment, Justice, and Interior ratified their commitment to promote the necessary measures to bring attention to the structural problems caused by these unfortunate situations, within the framework of the Intersectoral Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders approved by Supreme Decree No. 004-2021-JUS.

Mario Marco Lopez was secretary of EcoSira. Since 2016 he was in charge of co-managing El Sira Communal Reserve, prioritizing the conservation of flora and wild fauna. The area is constantly threatened by drug traffickers and loggers.


Published: 7/2/2021