Win for longtime Indigenous allies defending ancestral lands

Departure of oil company GeoPark thanks to mobilization led by the Achuar and Wampis of the Peruvian Amazon

By Charlotte Cevallos Biren
Win for longtime Indigenous allies as oil company GeoPark withdraws permit to drill on ancestral lands. Photo Credit: Amazon Watch

In July 2020, the Achuar and Wampis nations of the Peruvian Amazon notched another win in their struggle to defend 5 million acres of ancestral territory, with the announcement of the irrevocable departure of GeoPark from oil lease Block 64. This victory is a result of over a year of organizing and powerful mobilizations, including the notable delegation of Achuar and Wampis Indigenous leaders that pressured the oil company GeoPark at its annual shareholders meeting in Santiago, Chile, to cancel their planned oil extraction project on Indigenous territory in the Peruvian Amazon. This delegation also met with Peruvian government officials in Lima prior to going to Chile.

In the case of the Achuar, this is the 4th international oil company they have successfully stopped from developing major oil extraction projects on their territory since 1995. RAN has been supporting the Achuar with small grants over this time period for a variety of activities from community organizing workshops, to legal challenges, to delegations and mobilizations – we have made these grants in partnership with Amazon Watch, which has been a partner to the Achuar for over 20 years. Support for the Achuar and the Wampis in 2020, came at a time where our Community Action Grants program dynamically responded to critical priorities on the frontlines including mutual aid, grassroots mobilization, land rights defense, and remote resistance.