The surprising link between the fight against drugs, land dispossession and attacks on Indigenous rights defenders in Peru
Arbildo Meléndez Grandes was killed while out hunting and fishing to provide for his family. Photo: Aidesep.
Despite its function being to fight drug trafficking, the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA) has been financing the titling of lands claimed by Indigenous People in favour of individuals who indiscriminately cut down forests and practice illegal agriculture. Far from providing a response, the public body denies all responsibility, instead of shifting it onto regional governments. Meanwhile, attacks on Indigenous leaders and harassment of Amazonian communities are mounting.