Awajún teacher who warned about sexual assaults in Amazonas is threatened by reported teachers

Awajún teacher who warned about sexual assaults in Amazonas is threatened by reported teachers
Awajún teacher who warned about sexual assaults in Amazonas is threatened by reported teachers

Rosemary Pioc, teacher and president of the Awajún Women’s Council, who revealed that, from 2011 to date, they have registered 524 formal complaints against teachers for sexual assaults on Awajún schoolchildren in the province of Condorcanqui, in Amazonas, is being threatened by some of the teachers involved in these accusations. This was confirmed this Monday in a new report from ATV Noticias.

According to the testimony of the Awajún teacher, the attacks would not only be putting her at risk, but also the complaining families whom they would seek to silence in their fight to eradicate abuse and sexual violence in the schools of the indigenous territory.

They tell me you are alone, they are teachers who have been reported, Even the teachers themselves threaten the parent when he wants to report”, indicated Pioc.

Along these lines, as an autonomous defense mechanism to guarantee the safety of schoolchildren, Awajún communities have organized to create student residences aimed at children who live far from educational centers. Well, nowadays, transporting yourself to school involves high risk which makes them vulnerable to being kidnapped by traffickers for sexual exploitation.

“They have recovered girls who have been found in brothels in San Martín, in Cajamarca, and they have been able to return them to their home. The same parents, relatives, go in search of him. We want concrete actions in the territory,” says Pioc.

Awajún and Wampis adolescents are the population most affected by the increase in the virus – Credit Andina

As recalled, on Thursday, June 13, the Minister of Education, Morgan Quero, when asked about this data, stated that these actions could be a “cultural practice” for family construction, statements that generated strong indignation among indigenous peoples.

These statements were supported by the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Angela Hernandezwho reaffirmed what Quero said, that they are “cultural practices that we must banish”, generating criticism.

In response, the president of the Awajún Women’s Council, Rosemary Piocdescribed the minister’s position as discriminatory and stressed that “175 teachers were reported for this crime, but only 121 were separated”.

And, the Wampis Nation Autonomous Territorial Government (GTANW) issued a firm statement on June 15 confirming that the abuses perpetrated by teachers in this Amazon region They are not cultural practices, but crimes that must be punisheddespite the fact that the Minister of Education later indicated that his statements had been “misrepresented” and that “there is no justification” for the reported abuses.

Photos: Inregión/ Moccic

In addition, the first indigenous autonomous government of Peru warned that some of these teachers continue to teach in classrooms and denounced the lack of response from the Ministry of Education and the Regional Directorate of Education of Amazonas in response to the reports sent to sanction the directors of the Local Educational Management Units.

In this context, the increase in HIV cases in the province of Condorcanqui is also a cause for concern. According to Pioc, several teachers reported for sexual abuse were carriers of the virus.

However, although in 2022, the Municipality of Condorcanqui declared HIV as a public health problem and the Condorcanqui Health Network reported that 1,700 cases of HIV were recorded in the last five years—being 185 in 2023, including 35 pregnant mothers, 12 of them teenagers—, the actions to stop the advance of this disease in the territory are insufficient.

Within the framework of this problem, it is worth remembering that illegal mining activities in the Awajún territory represent a threat that, in addition to affecting their territory and autonomy in the management of their resources, puts the safety of the population at risk.

This is because communities have been denouncing, for years, that the illegal economy generates multiple consequences that have resulted in sexual abuse, among other acts of violence, against women and minors, the same situation that the wampis have already warned about.

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