Javier Ruiz Gutiérrez
Alleged land traffickers harass and threaten members of the Save Chaparrí Defense Front of the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve in Peru. The members of the Front fear for their safety.
Peruvian police have arrested 12 members of a gang believed to be involved in the murder of four environmental defenders in the Chaparrí ecological reserve. The community-run reserve has in recent years been the target of a sustained campaign of land grabs, deforestation and arson.
Interview of Javier Ruiz Gutiérrez by Servindi (In spanish)
La Montería, La Calzada and Las Delicias Dams are not approved by communities and farmers. Without permission, the Olmos Tinajones Special Project (PEOT) seeks new outlets to execute the plan created in 2009.
Javier Ruiz Gutiérrez is a member of Frente de Defensa Salvemos Chaparrí (Save Chaparrí Defense Front), an organisation of members of Santa Catalina de Chongoyape community and of Asociación para la Conservación de la Naturaleza y Turismo Sostenible Chaparri - ACOTURCH (Association for the Conservation of Nature and Sustainable Tourism) dedicated to the defense and conservation of the natural reserve "Área de Conservación Privada Chaparrí". The Chaparrí reserve, located between Lambayeque and Cajamarca regions, was created in 2001 as the first Private Conservation Area (ACP) of Peru, to protect more than 34 thousand hectares of tropical dry forests and endangered animals, such as the spectacled bear and the Aliblanca turkey. These vast natural reserve is under threat by "land dealers's" the illegal activities, such as usurpation, occupation of land and fraudulent change of land use, which often result in violent confrontations. Community members part of the Defense Front have denounced that, over the last few years, they have been targets of harassment, verbal and physical violence, monitoring, arbitrary separation from the community and death threats. On 30 December 2017, Lieutenant Governor José Napoleón Tarrillo Astonitas, a community leader in El Mirador village who opposed the entry of people foreign to the community, was murdered in his home. After the murder of José Tarrillo, the threats and harassment against the members of the Defense Front have increased.