Latin America


March – December 2016


Indigenous Peoples community Santa Clara de Uchunya

Funding Amount:


With SRM funding, the Peruvian Indigenous Peoples community Santa Clara de Uchunya defended its traditional lands in the Amazon against the immediate threat of land grabbing and deforestation by Plantaciones de Pucallpa, a company within the Melka Group. The community submitted complaints to the RSPO, and both the Peruvian government and the RSPO ordered the company to stop operations, which it eventually did.

The actions of the project proponents have led to the delisting of the stock of United Cacao Limited SEZC, another company within the Melka Group operating in Peru, in the London Stock Exchange as well as the Lima Stock Exchange. Dennis Melka, the managing director of United Cacao Ltd SEZC, has resigned, and the company announced that it would be reducing its staff at the plantation in an effort to keep it in business.

Santa Clara de Uchunya is now an emblem of the struggle Indigenous communities wage against the increasing expansion of palm oil in Peru, and across the world. The case also contributed to the formal request for titling of additional Santa Clara lands.