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Uncontacted Peoples of Peru

In: Social Issues

Submitted By joeshmoew
Words 725
Pages 3
Dimensions of Freedom
Marty Leech
Marty Scharman
Uncontacted Natives of Peru
There are many different tribes of people in South America. It is estimated that over one hundred uncontacted tribes exist today around the globe. There are approximately 15 tribes that take residence in Peru. These people have had no contact with the civilized world, and live what we would think is a primitive lifestyle. They have never influenced our way of life in any way. Besides this, many oil and logging companies want to go in to these areas and exploit the natural resources that they hold. This is very dangerous for these types of people, as they have had no contact with anyone from the outside world. These oil and logging companies present a huge threat to people that have never done anything to exploit us.
Some people try to deny the fact that these people even exist. The president of Peru was quoted saying that because they are uncontacted people, there is no evidence that they even exist in these rainforest areas. He actually stated that these people were invented by people trying to save the rainforest, and nothing more. This man is obviously being persuaded to let these companies come in and exploit the land for its natural resources. No person would willingly put the lives of others at risk unless it was a for-profit venture. For the president of Peru to portray this message in a news article that would be read by most of the people in Peru is outrageous. Money is once again getting in the way of human rights, even to those humans that live very differently than we do. The government has done what they think is enough to protect these people from outside threats. They have made five reserves for the tribes to live in. These reserves are a good idea and would work. However, the oil and logging companies constantly explore into these territories without anyones permission. The problem is that the government does not try to stop the companies from invading the tribe's land. These five reserves are referred to by local Peruvians as the “paper reserves” because they are only really on paper, and the boundaries are not enforced.
The indigenous tribes face many different threats to their survival from the oil and logging companies. These people have been living away from the rest of society since the dawn of time. They have immune systems that have grown and evolved very differently than our immune systems. A common cold or other common bugs and viruses are tolerable to most of modern civilization with modern medicine. These people do not have access to modern medicine nor know what it is. If a logger or oil rigger gets in contact with a tribal person, this person has a high probability of catching a virus and dying. In past instances, the indigenous people have had a death rate after contact with modernized people of fifty percent or more. This is a huge problem, and should be considered a genocide of these people.
The fact that people knowingly go into these areas to steal natural resources is wrong. These tribes have never been in contact with civilization. They need to be treated with respect. A fragile approach should be taken in understanding these people, if the desire for natural resources is present. These oil and logging companies have been wreaking havoc in the areas of these tribes. No one in America really sees this as a problem because we are happy when we get to fill our car up with the gas we receive from the products this natural resource rich land of Peru has. This will keep going on until we have less demand for oil. Oil and redwood trees are the only reason why modern people want to go into these lands. If we reduce our dependence on oil, we will then in turn reduce the amount of destruction that these companies cause in these indigenous people's lands. So do your part today, and use less oil!
Cortijo, D. "Up Close One Year Later: Startling New Photos of Uncontacted Indians Released." - Survival International. Survival International, 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <>.
Corry, Stephen. Tribal Peoples for Tomorrow's World. Freeman, 2011. Print.

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