The Nahua Kugapakori Reserve

The Nahua Kugapakori Territorial Reserve was created in 1990 to protect the territorial rights of the Nahua, Nanti and other peoples living in the area who had limited relations with national society and other indigenous people. The catalyst for the creation of the Reserve was the devastating contact experience of the Nahua (during which over half of their population died) and ongoing logging which threatened to cause further contacts, replicating the Nahua’s tragedy with other peoples.

Today the Reserve is inhabited permanently by Nahua, Nanti and Machiguenga communities and families. It is also visited annually by Mashco Piro, who cross the headwater region to travel between the Purus and Manu river basins. All the peoples of the Reserve have a different relationship with national society, some openly inviting people from outside to visit, others accepting but not soliciting contact and others avoiding where possible contact with others, including other indigenous people.

The territorial and health rights, and the right to choose their own futures (self determination) of the peoples of the Reserve are currently threatened by illegal loggers, evangelists and contact seeking missionaries and the activities of the Camisea Gas Project (75% of Lot 88 and 3 of the 4 proposed platforms lie in the Reserve). The Mashco Piro are further threatened by logging and hydrocarbon activities elsewhere which force them into more marginalized zones and provoke occasionally violent contacts with settled indigenous communities.

Photo: Montetoni at dawn, a Nanti village on the upper Camisea river, Shinai