LONDON – The Survival organization on Tuesday asked tourists visiting the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu to get involved in a new online campaign to protect the rights of Peru’s indigenous peoples from the dangers their lands face from the expansion of natural-gas projects.
In a communique issued Tuesday in London, the group that defends indigenous populations said that even though around 1 million tourists visit the sanctuary each year, very few are aware of the risks the tribes run that live only 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Machu Picchu.
The risks come from the planned expansion of the massive Camisea gas project, which, according to Survival, is a serious threat to several of the isolated tribes.
For that reason Survival has asked tourists visiting the archaeological site to have a look at an online campaign launched to protect Indians’ rights.
The ads of the new campaign, which appear in Google searches related to Machu Picchu, urge those visitors to “take action” against the impact that prospecting for gas will have on those communities.
Survival fears that going ahead with the natural-gas projects in those areas could destroy parts of Machu Picchu, one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Camisea, the property of a consortium of companies including Pluspetrol, Hunt Oil and Repsol, operates in the region and has obtained the go-ahead to expand further toward Indian territory.
“Tourists visiting Machu Picchu who have an interest in Peru’s history and culture should take notice of these adverts and take action. Uncontacted tribes’ land must be protected, or they too will be wiped out, like the Incas were in the 17th century,” Survival director Stephen Corry said. EFE