On 23 July, 2020, members of the indigenous community of Sinchi Roca I, found the body of Santiago Vega Chota in the forest of San Alejandro. He had been shot once in the heart.
He was the fourth member of indigenous communities murdered in 2020 in the areas of Ucayali and Puerto Inca [Huánuco], which have been invaded by narco-traffickers, loggers and illegal miners.
The communities of Sinchi Roca and Puerto Nuevo are among eight communities in the areas of Ucayali and Huánuco which are effectively under siege because of the activities of criminal gangs.
Between April and August 2020 4 members of the Cacataibo people and 2 members of the Asháninka people were murdered.
The indigenous peoples have been trying for years to get title to their land but this has been held up by bureaucratic delays and corruption. Meanwhile their way of life is increasingly under threat from land grabbers and illegal miners and loggers.
When members of indigenous peoples gathered in front of the Peruvian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Lima, to demand the signing of the Escazu Agreement, which highlights the need to protect environmental rights defenders, the new Foreign Minister of Peru, Miguel Ângel Rodriguez Mackay, stated that “The Escazu agreement is currently shelved and it should be there because it does not correspond to the interests of the country.”