Peruvian Rainforest Is the Wampís Natural Hospital

FROM THE EDITORS: At the beginning of the pandemic, several states opted to declare a state of emergency as a precautionary measure aimed at addressing the emergency. The indigenous organizations of the Wampís Nation in the Peruvian Amazon document that the measures in that country have not only been ineffective but have also generated a series of negative consequences for the lives of their communities. The Wampís are making use of ancestral wisdom in traditional medicine, for which they have formed a COVID-19 Wampís Command that will be responsible for implementing “a Center for the Production of Natural Medicine in the Wampís Territory to guarantee health for all Wampís, in compliance with the Autonomous Statute and the self-diagnosis agreements and as a redeeming act of revaluation and importance of the master plants.” Consequently, the Wampís Nation has declared nature, territories, forests and biodiversity as the NATURAL HOSPITAL OF THE WAMPIS. Below we’ve translated an excerpt from the statement approved made public on August 12.

SOURCE: The full statement in Spanish can be accessed here.

We declare nature, territories, forests and biodiversity as the NATURAL HOSPITAL OF THE WAMPIS


The citizens of the Wampís Nation have taken the initiative to protect and self-protect ourselves, assuming various strategies, based on ancestral wisdom and to complement the contributions of scientific knowledge, in the face of the expansion of Covid-19. This strategy also includes the attention of other current and future health problems with the evaluation and exclusive use of the benefits of medicinal plants that has allowed to minimize massive cases of death among members of the Wampís nation in the past five months.

For all of this and other considerations, the authorities of the Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampís Nation (GTANW), after a broad debate, unanimously agreed and declared nature, territories, forests and biodiversity as a whole, as the NATURAL HOSPITAL OF THE WAMPIS, which exists and continues to be the natural, historical and ancestral cradle of the “INTEGRAL TERRITORY OF THE WAMPIS NATION,” made up of the hills and mountains of ancestral legacy: Kampankis, Tuntanain, Winchinkim; the great rivers that cross these hills: Kanus and Kankaim and their tributaries, as well as other territorial spaces.

Therefore, WE REQUEST and DEMAND the Peruvian State and international public and private organizations to PROTECT, RECOGNIZE, RESPECT and VALUE the INTEGRAL TERRITORY OF THE WAMPIS NATION as the natural hospital of the Wampís that contributes with its great environmental services to Humanity and that for millennia and transgenerations we have properly managed since time immemorial as our natural and divine inheritance. Likewise, WE EXHORT to the researchers to limit all types of scientific research within the natural hospital for the purpose of appropriation without consent of its owners in the Wampís nation and that any alteration of the balance of the natural hospital will be sanctioned according to the principles of the Autonomous Statute and the Regulation of the Wampís nation.

We will oversee the formation of the Covid-19 Wampís Command, in Kanus and Kankaim (High, Medium, and Low regions) to fully face the pandemic for which a Workshop of Local Health Promoters will be held at the level of the Kanus and Kankaim basins for the teaching of practices and use of benefits of medicinal plants; in order to promote preventive and curative practices against the spread of Covid-19 in the Territory of the Wampís Nation.

We will oversee the implementation of a Center of Natural Medicine Production in the Wampís Territory to guarantee health for all Wampís and in compliance with the Autonomous Statute and self-diagnosis agreements, and as a redeeming act of revaluation and importance of master plants.

Within the framework of new strategies adopted in the Wampís Territory, people with Covid-19 will not be referred to Hospitals in cities because adequate treatment has not been guaranteed.

We will establish a permanent educational system for schools, families, communities and collectives aimed at raising awareness on the importance and care of the environment and on the management and control of solid waste in the Kanus and Kankaim basins (High, Medium, Low), due to the increase of polluting materials and to keep the NATURAL HOSPITAL OF THE WAMPIS and the territory of the Wampís Nation clean and healthy.

As members of the Wampís nation, we already have experience on the treatment and the form of cure, and, somehow, have come to know the symptoms of Covid-19. On the other hand, the Wampís ratify the existence of nature’s spirits and their relationship with humanity, which as a whole, constitutes the knowledge system of the Wampís nation.

Moreover, we point out that the prolonged social immobilization and the new [state of exception] declaration in the province of Condorcanqui do not contribute to the normal coexistence and practices of daily activities, so we request that said social confinement ends immediately due to its useless nature since all Wampís, we are infected with Covid-19.

As Wampís, we also know that the Peruvian State has received large sums of money under the international debt system to face the pandemic, a case that affects the precarious income of Wampís families, as well as all ordinary Peruvians.

For this reason and everything expressed in the preceding lines, the Wampís nation authorities request the Peruvian government, PCM, and Congress not to offer or mortgage our land, forests, nature’s goodness for the benefit of debt service payments, nor grant favor to extractive oil, mining and logging companies in the territory of the Wampís nation, because and furthermore, as we are living in our own flesh, there is no such economic development that today’s State and the governments proclaim so much and, in addition, leaves the fundamental rights of the Wampís vulnerable…

The Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampis Nation-GTANW, which represents the Wampís nation (current self-denomination), rose from a natural process of socio-historical struggle for dignity and vindication of territorial, social, cultural, educational, and economic rights.