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On June 5th 2009, an estimated thirty people died in a clash between governmental authorities and indigenous people near Bagua, Peru. Termed the "Bagua Massacre," this event underscores the marginalized role of Indigenous Amazonians when confronting multinational commercial interests supported by the state (Shepard, 2009). The indigenous people were protesting the “Law of the Jungle,” Decree 1090, a 2009 decree assuming heavily-forested indigenous lands idle and unproductive, and providing the legal basis to privatize comunally-held forests to facilitate petroleum, biofuel, hydroelectric and logging projects. Since contact, the assumption of indigenous people unproductively managing their forested homelands has fueled colonization, deforestation, and the displacement of indigenous residents. Our research uses Global Positioning System receivers (GPS) and a Geographic Information System (GIS) to provide a snapshot of indigenous management of natural resources not only in their readily visible agricultural fields, but also beneath the forest canopy and within lakes and river courses.

Publication Date


Conference Date

University of Richmond Research Symposium, University of Richmond, April 15, 2011


Richmond, VA


Geographic Information Sciences | Geography | Human Geography | Physical and Environmental Geography

Invisible Occupation: Indigenous Natural Resource Management in the Peruvian Amazon


Poster Location