Leaders of the Asháninka community were killed last week while on their way to meet fellow community members in Brazil.Vice Minister of the Intercultural Ministry of Culture, Patricia Balbuena, confirms the events.
In an effort to “monitor and safeguard their territories from the frequent invasion of illegal wood loggers and narco-traffickers, Peruvian and Brazilian Asháninka members had been routinely meeting,” said Beto Borges, director of the Communities and Markets Program of Forest Trends.
A lot has been written about the Asháninka people in the last few months. Members of the tribe from both countries have made rare appearances in the outside world. Many blame illegal loggers for forcing the indigenous groups out of their habitats. These loggers are also the prime suspects of the killings, according to the Asháninka communities. One of the deceased has been identified as Edwin Chota, head of the community of Alto Tamaya – Saweto.
Sebastian Reyder Quinticuari, president of the Association of Native Communities Asháninkas Masisea and Callería (Aconamac), believes that the murders occurred Monday, September 1st. The killed leaders were in a remote and isolated area of the jungle at the time of the event. The exact location is not known at this moment.