CONGRESSWOMAN PROPOSES REVOKING HIGHWAYS LAW FOR PERU'S AMAZON

Peruvian congresswoman Tania Pariona Tarqui has proposed a bill that would revoke a controversial law promulgated last month that declared highways in the Ucayali region in the remote Amazon to be a “national priority” and in the “national interest.” The law sparked fierce criticism from indigenous federations and other civil society organisations, some congressmen/women, and even various state entities, but was approved twice in Congress. The main concerns are the dangers that highways in remote Ucayali would pose to “protected natural areas”, including two national parks, and several reserves inhabited by indigenous peoples living in “isolation.” Congresswoman Pariona had opposed the highways law before it was promulgated - and is now fighting back by proposing her own law which would revoke the highways law and instead declare Peru’s “national interest” to be in “protected natural areas” and indigenous peoples in “isolation” and “initial contact” in Ucayali and neighbouring Madre de Dios. (05-02-2018)

David Hill