NES Peru has contributed to a greater understanding of the land issues facing Indigenous Peoples and has improved the reporting and monitoring of public institutions. In addition, through strong, coordinated advocacy work, it has curbed legislation that would have violated the rights of Indigenous Peoples, peasant and native communities, rural women, and small farmers. This has important implications for the 6,299 campesino communities and 1,388 native communities in Peru, which in total represent 1,137,582 families.
This progress has been made possible by joint efforts by local ILC members and other partners to regularly update information collected from communities for the Campesino Communities Information System (Sistema de Información sobre Comunidades Campesinas del Perú, or SICCAM), which is managed by ILC member Instituto del Bien Común (IBC), in combination with the advocacy efforts of NES members and other organisations dedicated to defending rural communities and the land rights and territories of Indigenous Peoples.
Laureano del Castillo, Executive Director of CEPES, also an ILC member, hailed the achievements of the NES: “The support of NES Peru has been crucial to achieving the results expected by CEPES. We live in a country with complicated political and social contexts, and this joint action has allowed for better defence of the rights of peasant men and women and their organisations. This could not have been achieved in isolation.”
The NES is contributing to the participation of women in community management and decision making by facilitating engagement with communities to change statutes that exclude women from community land rights, and by proposing changes to the national normative framework to promote more inclusive community laws. This has led recently to the formulation of Draft Bill N° 2148/2017-CR, which will give women the same community land rights as men.
Two more members of ILC, Asociación Servicios Educativos Rurales (SER) and Organización Nacional de Mujeres Andinas y Amazónicas del Perú (ONAMIAP), were instrumental in drafting and promoting this bill, which was presented to Congress by Congresswoman Tania Pariona. She spoke of the value of the NES in this process: “It has been essential for us to promote joint actions with different stakeholders, with the aim of defending and promoting Indigenous Peoples’ rights, particularly women’s rights. Acting collectively has allowed us to have an impact on government and laws, visibility, debate, and proposed solutions to a latent problem which requires attention.”
Thanks to work done with communities, to date 30 community statutes have been amended to recognise 632 Quechua peasant women from Ayacucho as qualified comuneras in their communities and a total of 303 Aymara peasant women in Puno, of whom 20 hold positions on their respective management boards.
Francisca Sicha Navalte, from the Yanayacu community, explained the importance of recognising women as comuneras: “[Our spouses] continue with their work outside the community and it is us, women, who take on their community roles. In this way, we know that if the spouse is gone we will represent ourselves and we will not have to wait for him to talk for us after his return.”
NES Peru is linked to ILC Commitments: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
NES Peru Achievements
NES Peru has brought together stakeholders to influence:
In the run-up to the 2016 Congressional election, the NES conducted advocacy on issues relating to collective land rights, the concentration of land ownership, and food security, aimed at the main political parties. In response, the eventual winner, Peruanos Por el Kambio (Peruvians for Change), made a public commitment to collective land rights for indigenous communities.
The NES has also put the participation of women in communal directives onto the Congressional agenda for amendment of the Law on Campesino Communities. The issue has been discussed by the Committee on Agriculture, and a working group has been set up in which indigenous organisations will participate.
The NES has helped achieve the creation of the General Directorate of Sanitation of Agricultural Property and Rural Cadastre (DIGESPACR) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), thereby strengthening the role of public administration in land registration, which previously had been completely marginalised within the ministry.
Thanks to the NES, Executive Decree DL. 13333, which undermined the land rights of Indigenous Peoples in favour of large private investors, was repealed by Congress.