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Ángel Pedro Valerio

HRD, President

Ángel Pedro Valerio is an Ashaninka indigenous leader who promotes the protection of the human rights of the Ashaninka indigenous communities of the Ene River basin, in the province of Satipo, Junín region. He is currently the president of CARE, an organisation that represents 19 communities, 25 annexes, 2 indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation and 2 indigenous peoples in initial contact.

CARE's struggle began during the context of the internal armed conflict in Peru, contributing to the pacification of hundreds of forcibly displaced Ashaninka, including Angel Pedro himself and his family. In this way, CARE has reached more than 10 thousand Ashaninka inhabitants, orienting its goals and objectives to achieve the exercise of indigenous self-government and rights as an indigenous people, ensure the physical and legal consolidation of the Ashaninka territory of the Ene River Basin, as well as promote the full exercise of cultural and economic identity supported by the use of technology appropriated to the needs of nature, the environment and climate.

Angel is a leader that emerges from the heart of his community, which allows him to be closer to the problems that Ashaninka people face on a daily basis. In the last three years, he initiated a frontal resistance against drug trafficking and massive deforestation in his territory. Therefore, he undertook actions to strengthen environmental and indigenous governance, through the institutionalization, strengthening and implementation of the indigenous surveillance system in the Ene, as a mechanism for control and surveillance of the forest and indigenous territory. For this, Angel promoted the installation of monitoring centres in native communities of the Ene providing technological equipment, as well as the implementation of the Early Warning System (SAT-CARE), which is a digital platform that allows the launching of alerts on affectations to natural resources and indigenous territory for better control, surveillance and defence of forests and their territory.

It is precisely for these reasons that in recent years Angel Pedro Valerio has received numerous death threats and accusations in irregular processes. Currently, he has been unjustly charged by the Peruvian judicial system in an irregular and unfounded process, which involves him in events in which he has had no direct or indirect participation, in a clear attempt of intimidation and pressure exerted on his leadership, widely recognized nationally and internationally. Despite this, he continues to promote governance throughout the Ene basin, combining the traditional Asháninka Kametsa Asaike principles of "buen vivir" with an agenda of advocacy with the State focused on closing gaps in fundamental rights.

While many human rights defenders (HRDs) can operate freely in Peru, those working on the environment, in particular on the environmental and human rights impact of the extractive industry, face harsh repression, including intimidation, smear campaigns, death threats, surveillance, and judicial harassment. Journalists and trade unionists have also been targeted.