19 March, 2020

Coronavirus in Peru: what we know about Indigenous Peoples

CHIRAPAQ report on the situation of indigenous peoples in the midst of the coronavirus health emergency.

Regarding the coronavirus emergency in Peru, CHIRAPAQ reports its implications among indigenous peoples, and the measures adopted by our association to continue operating despite the mandatory social distance and curfew.

  1. The government made official that it will exceptionally give a cash allowance of S/. 380 soles (106 USD) to homes in poverty or extreme poverty as a measure of economic protection to the most vulnerable families.
  2. The Ombudsman called on every public institution to translate the messages and recommendations issued to as many indigenous languages as possible. The Ministry of Health has acted in a similar way; however, CHIRAPAQ has observed that these materials have not been culturally adapted.
  3. CHIRAPAQ notes that the indicators provided in the Ministry of Health’s report are not disaggregated by ethnicity, but by region. Therefore, it is not possible to accurately determine whether there are indigenous people among the confirmed cases.
  4. Andean and Amazonian indigenous peoples are especially vulnerable to the virus due to a poor health system in their regions. It should be noted that the Amazonian region was already in alert due to increasing dengue cases. If many cases of coronavirus develop at the same time, healthcare centers and hospitals would collapse facing both health emergencies.
  5. The Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) has asked its grassroots communities to prevent foreigners from entering their territories and to remain there. Likewise, they have demanded the government to ensure test supply in the most remote communities.
  6. The chiefs in Kirigueti community in Cusco expelled nine polish foreigners.
  7. Peruvian indigenous leader Aurelio Chino has tested positive for Coronavirus after coming back from the Netherlands where he went to set forward a lawsuit against tax evasion and pollution, according to the indigenous organization United Amazonian Indigenous Peoples Defending their Territories (PUINAMUDT). He is currently in the San Martin region, isolated and under medical surveillance.
    President Martín Vizcarra announced that ministers will go to the regions that require a special assessment. One of them is Loreto.
  8. Among the people who are most affected by this situation are people with indigenous origin whose livelihood depends on what they earn each day and who cannot work anymore; also families in neighborhoods and communities that do not have drinking water and depend on tanker trucks to get it.
  9. Thanks to farmers’ work food supply is assured in the national territory, according to what is reported by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Measures adopted by CHIRAPAQ

As announced last Sunday, CHIRAPAQ has closed its offices and stopped all its activities in the regions. Our institutional team has adopted the telework modality and our institutional email is available to solve any question. Meanwhile, we have contacted our allies in different regions and they will report to us any violation of the rights of indigenous peoples that may occur during this health crisis.

Report on the Coronavirus E… by Centro de Culturas Indígena… on Scribd

Download here.