The Peruvian Government Still Needs to Title Over 4,000 Communities
LIMA, PERU (12 September 2012) —A collective composed of 15 civil society organizations launched the campaign, “Securing Territories for Peruvian Communities” at Casa García Alvarado in Miraflores today. A publication titled, “Las Comunidades que Mueven al País – El estado de las comunidades rurales en el Perú Informe 2012” (“The Communities that Move the Country – A Report on the Status of the Rural Communities of Peru – 2012”) was also released at the launch, along with an infographic exhibition of the same name featuring photographs from celebrated national artists and a video directed by filmmaker Héctor Gálvez “Nos necesitas más de lo que tú crees” or “You need us more than you think,” which focuses on the property rights of communities across the country.
In recent years, property rights of rural and indigenous communities have not been a priority for the Peruvian Government. According to the Agency of Informal Property (Cofopri), only eight new titles were granted to indigenous communities between 2006 and 2008, and none were granted between 2009 and 2010. The same stands for rural communities: while 62 new titles were granted in 2006, the number of new titles was reduced to four in 2010. The trend continues today, with regional governments now responsible for the titling of these communities.
To Laureano del Castillo, Executive Director of CEPES, this situation is part of a process of weakening the communal property regime of Peru over the past two decades. “The legal and institutional framework of public authorities has undergone several changes, which demonstrate a profound disinterest in the fate of communities to the point that their existence is endangered,” says the expert attorney on agrarian development.
With this in mind, the group of 15 organizations which represent or support the communities of Peru aim to highlight the importance of secure community territories for the livelihoods and subsistence of these communities. The campaign will also emphasize the close relationship between rural communities and the national population.
The Campaign Securing Territories for Peruvian Communities seeks to contribute to the recognition and appreciation of the communities’ contribution to social, cultural, and environmental diversity, as well as economic development of Peru.
In addition, the campaign also aims to promote the development of a legal framework for communal property that adheres to the standards of international law, and a set of public policies that make it effective and enable rural communities to defend that which has belonged to them since time immemorial.
Thus, the group calls for the state to create a National Governing Entity that would clarify the process of rural titling and the implementation of the land registry database; likewise, the Campaign Securing Territories for Peruvian Communities calls for capacity building in the regional governments that now charged with rural land titling, and the reactivation of the titling land process for communities, which has been essentially paralyzed for several years.
The campaign will collect digital signatures that will be presented to the appropriate authorities to support the request for effective action on the issue.
More than 10,000 rural communities represent the 51 distinct indigenous and native peoples that exist in Peru, and serve as home to approximately one third of the national population, with nearly 1.5 million families in rural communities from the coast to the Andes, and another million families in the Amazon, in addition to the indigenous and riverine communities of the Peruvian Amazon.
The digital signatures are gathered here or by email, sending by your full name and ID number or immigration card to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 15 civil society organizations collaborating on the campaign represent or support the rural communities of Perú, and include: Instituto del Bien Común – IBC, Oxfam, Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales – DAR, Instituto de Defensa Legal – IDL , Servicios Educativos Rurales – SER, Comisión Andina de Juristas, Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales – CEPES, Confederación Campesina del Perú, Grupo de Trabajo Racimos de Ungurahui, Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Aplicación Práctica – CAAAP, International Land Coalition, Paz y Esperanza, Comisión Episcopal de Acción Social – CEAS, Coordinadora Nacional de Comunidades del Perú Afectadas por la Minería – CONACAMI. Oxfam, the Rights and Resources Initiative, and la Campaña Crece have contributed funding of the campaign.
Read more about the launch (in Spanish).
For more information, please contact:
Miluska Carhuavilca, Instituto de Bien Común
Alan López, Trend Comunicación