Urgent appeal from the “Jaguar people” to the shareholders of the oil company
The Matsés urged the shareholders of Pacific Rubiales to divest from the company to protect the isolated tribes of Peru.
© International Survival
An Amazonian tribe has issued an urgent appeal to shareholders of Colombian-Canadian oil giant Pacific Rubiales to protect the lives of Peru’s isolated Indians, whose survival is threatened by the company’s work on their land.
In an urgent video message, Salomon Dunu, a member of the Matsés tribe, said: “Our isolated brothers live in the forest, we have heard them many times so we know they exist… Tell the world that the Matsés are steadfast. in our position against the oil company. We don’t want it on our land.
Watch the full video call:
Les Matsés and Survival International sent the message to hundreds of shareholders – including JP Morgan, General Electric, Blackrock, HSBC, Allianz, Santander and Legal and General * – urging them to divest from Pacific Rubiales.
The company has already started exploring for oil in “block 135”, although it is located directly on an area proposed as a reserve for isolated tribes, and is planning further exploration in the territory of the Matsés.
The Matsés report that helicopters are flying over the area and that the $ 36 million project will see hundreds of seismic lines cut through the rainforest used by Indians for hunting and gathering.
The Matsés are very concerned for the safety of the isolated tribes living around “Block 135” and have called for the area to be protected.
Unaccompanied Indians and oil company workers are at extreme risk if work continues – Indians are vulnerable to common external diseases to which they have no immunity, and workers are susceptible to attack by Indians, who will see them as invaders of their territory.
The Matsés live off the products they hunt and gather in the tropical forest.
© International Survival
The Matsés were known as the “Jaguar people” for their facial decorations and tattoos, and were first contacted in the 1960s. Solomon recalls: “Life before contact was amazing. We lived by the river and we went across to do our gardens. When it was time we would leave these gardens in the forest and make new ones somewhere else. This was how we lived before the contact.
Stephen Corry, director of Survival, said today: “Contact between oil workers and isolated Indians is very likely to kill tribal members. In fact, there is a good chance that the tribe will be wiped out. The oil company knows it. He also knows that he is breaking international law when he pursues his dangerous project without the permission of the people who own the land.
See the Matsés Tribe Survival Photo Gallery. (The gallery is available for publication.)
Note to editors:
– Read the declaration of the Matsés rejecting oil works on their land and calling for the area to be recognized as a reserve for isolated tribes (Pdf, 289 kb, in Spanish)
- Companies listed as shareholders in Bloomberg Public Holder Analysis 2012/13