Respect for the Self-determination and Protection of Indigenous Peoples in Isolation
This report addresses the resurgence of positions within anthropology that favour States taking the initiative in the establishment of direct and permanent relationships with those Indigenous Peoples, or parts of them, that live in voluntary isolation.
This report analyses the context and arguments wielded by the promoters of this position today, as well as the impact that similar initiatives have had on Indigenous Peoples. In contrast, this report exposes the historic processes of the approach that respects the self-determination and territorial integrity of these peoples, as well as its principles and achievements. In that same vein, it highlights the importance of an anthropology that is respectful of the decisions made by the peoples in isolation with regard to their way of life, or the level of interaction or engagement that they wish to sustain with the surrounding population. At the same time, it establishes the need to guarantee the legal security and protection of the territories of peoples in isolation, as well as the necessity of implementing preventive measures to avoid health issues and interethnic conflicts. Likewise, it highlights the need to place the respect for these peoples’ fundamental rights and those of the surrounding populations before academic, governmental, economic or other interests, at the time of taking any decision that may affect them.
Beatriz Huertas Castillo is an anthropologist and has worked with Indigenous Peoples and organizations from the Amazon for more than 20 years.