walking peruvian woman

This past July, the Peruvian government passed a new law that undermines the country’s environmental regulations. Law 30230 substantially pares down the Environment Ministry’s role in managing air, water, and soil quality, strips its ability to create new natural reserves exempt from oil and mining, and substantially reduces fines for environmental violations. While the government has argued that this law is necessary to attract new concessions, many NGOs, activists and journalists have decried it as misleading at best and environmentally devastating at worst.

Now, a new analysis from Colectivo Territorios Seguros del Peru indicates that this law stands to not only severely damage the country’s protected areas and environment, but will also curtail the rights of Indigenous Peoples and rural communities. By focusing solely on stimulating investment, Law 30230 overturns the rights and guarantees granted to these groups. Because over 72 percent of Indigenous Peoples and peasant communities have no way to irrefutably prove their property rights, they are likely to be the most severely affected by the ‘paqueate reactivador’ legislation.

More alarming still, according to the authors of the analysis, is that the new law grants investors rights to not only the immediate area of their project, but to any area that may be indirectly impacted. This, in essence, means that companies are free to use whatever land they deem is necessary for the completion of their projects. “By extremely inaccurate, general and even ambiguous items,” the authors assert, “the aforementioned law […] constitutes a serious impairment of the exercise of property rights over the land of the country’s citizens.”

This analysis follows on discussions at the International Indigenous Women’s Forum that highlighted the so-called paquetazo’s disproportionate impact on indigenous women. While indigenous women often have a much great role in managing and utilizing natural resources than men, they have historically been excluded from decisions that govern their land and rights – as is the case with Law 30230.

Read the full analysis in Spanish here

Photo credit: Guillermo Barrios del Valle