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Indigenous people from Bolivia and Peru sign twinning agreement

Indigenous communities in Bolivia and Peru signed the International Autonomous Twinning Instrument to strengthen political and cultural relations between the two original peoples.

The Bolivian Foreign Ministry reported Thursday that the communal governments of Santiago de Huata (west) in the Bolivian department of La Paz and the Uru Chulluni people (south) in Puno, Peru, signed an agreement to deepen their political and cultural relations.

We Aymaras have no borders, we indigenous peoples know no borders, said Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca during the binational meeting of indigenous communities.

During the signing of the “autonomous international instrument of municipal twinning”, Choquehuanca recalled that for more than 500 years the intention has been to eliminate the native cultures of this part of the American continent.

“We realize that the path is called integration, brotherhood. That is why the agreement they are signing is a twinning agreement between a municipality on Bolivian territory and another on the Peruvian side,” said the head of Bolivian diplomacy.

Chácobo (Pano family) within the same Chácobo OCT. Inside the Chácobo TCO, which has a long history of contact with national society, there is a segment of this ethnic group that has been confirmed as being in voluntary isolation by the leaders of the Captaincy of the Chácobo-Pacahuara Tapaya Indigenous People, who, however, jealously guard exact information about the group in the most forested area of the TCO, which is in the northern Amazon, Vaca Díez del Beni province. There is no interest in following up on the isolated group.

The recent emergence of an indigenous people living in voluntary isolation, south of the Tacana II TCO (in the process of being titled by INRA), has occurred as a result of the execution of the hydrocarbon seismic exploration project being developed within the aforementioned TCO, called “2D Seismic Acquisition Project, Madre de Dios Basin, Nueva Esperanza Area, Bolivia” by the Chinese company BGP Bolivia SRL, under contract to YPFB. The project obtained Environmental License No. 021501-090203/04/DIA/n°5749/2015, dated November 26, 2015.

The Tacana II indigenous people are located in the municipality of Ixiamas, province of Abel Iturralde, in the northern Amazon region of the department of La Paz. It is bordered by the Madre de Dios River to the north and the cross-border Heath River to the east (with the Republic of Peru). It is made up of four communities: Las Mercedes, located on the Asunta River, a tributary of the Madre de Dios River; Puerto Perez and Toromonas, located on the Toromonas River, a tributary of the Madre de Dios River, and El Tigre, located on the Madre de Dios River. The Tacana II TCO is represented by the Indigenous Tacana Community of the Madre de Dios River (CITRMD), which is affiliated with the Central of Indigenous Peoples of La Paz (CPILAP).

Currently, the Tacana II and Araona indigenous territories are the first in the Bolivian Amazon to be affected by hydrocarbon activities (seismic exploration). The area’s main traditional activity is the extraction of non-timber forest resources, especially Brazil nuts (Bertolletia exelsa). One of the particularities of these territories is that they are very far from populated areas (in addition to being adjacent to Madidi National Park) where little human intervention suggests that indigenous peoples in a state of isolation over several generations have converted these areas into their natural sanctuary habitat.

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