On January 26 of this year, after more than ten years of struggle for the recognition of the territorial rights of the native SAASA community, RDR No. 038-2017 was issued.GRU-DRA by means of which its title is declared appropriate. with a total area of 2,757.8821 has. located on both banks of the Utuquinía river in Ucayali, as well as the delivery of their property title. CEDIA carried out a diagnosis between the months of April and May 2015 on the problems in the titling process and drew up a strategy to overcome them with the support of the Native Communities Area of the Ucayali Regional Sectorial Directorate of Agriculture (DRSAU).
Approximately two decades ago, a group of Awajun natives, belonging to different settlements located on the tributaries of the Marañón River in the Amazon, made the decision to leave their communal territories to seek new lands due to pressure from the permanent arrival of settlers who settled in their ancestral territories, now called according to the Law, free lands of the State, reducing the forests and resources that served for their sustenance.
They began a long journey through formerly known territories, exploring new ones based on the information shared by other natives. They settled in the city of Pucallpa to begin to gather all the Awajun who had left their villages and who arrived little by little to start a new life in a territory identified in the headwaters of the Utiquinía river, a tributary of the Ucayali river, the lower parts They were already occupied by landowners and illegal sawmills, followed by forest concessions, territories with almost no State presence, initiating a long struggle for the recognition of ancestral territorial rights.
This Awajun group decided to call itself the SAASA native community, which means "UNION", a word that symbolizes the meeting of family groups in search of a common path. It was recognized on November 10, 2008 by RDRS N ° 270-2008-GRU-P-DRSAU. But their struggle did not stop there and by means of reiterative letters presented to the Ucayali Regional Sectorial Directorate of Agriculture (DRSAU) they demanded that the territories they occupied be titled, territories that due to the length of the sanitation procedures were superimposed on Permanent Production Forests ( BPP) and Forest Concessions.
They sought the support of indigenous organizations and non-governmental organizations to obtain financing due to the lack of economic resources of the Governing Body and to be able to carry out the work in the field to dimension the territory they occupied. They achieved an echo in the Regional Organization AIDESEP Ucayali (ORAU) for the political support in the negotiations and the Institute of the Common Good (IBC) for the financing. Perhaps the length of the process and the limitations of the knowledge of the rules, was taking strength from the initial impulses and tended to weaken them.
CEDIA learned, through the study of the DRSAU file, about the process of territorial sanitation of the native community SAASA, through which, based on field work and permanent dialogue with its inhabitants, we draw up a strategy to overcome the Problems identified in the process in order to achieve the recognition of the territorial rights of this Awajun population.
After a little more than a year of work, in which mistakes made by the Governing Body have been overcome, in addition to the rescue of valuable information, and with the support of the Native Communities Area of the DRSAU for the work carried out, SAASA's territorial rights were recognized.
The process has not concluded; This stage has been long but a big step has been taken. Now it is necessary to face a regulation contrary to the recognition of ancestral rights to achieve the legal security of the territory of the native SAASA community. Its territory overlaps the Ucayali BPP, which prevents its registration in SUNARP until it is resized by SERFOR. This is attributed the power to review the completed process followed by the Governing Body the DRSAU, seeking to review the Studies of Capacity for Greater Use of Communal Lands that have not been carried out by the General Directorate of Agricultural Environmental Affairs. This, in turn, uses criteria, according to regulations, established for investment projects and that, therefore, are not applicable for territorial reorganization processes within the framework of recognition of territorial rights, as is the case of native communities.
The challenges are great, both for the Governing Body and its Regional Directorates and the public institutions that are linked to the process of cleaning up the ancestral territories of indigenous peoples. As well as for the Institutions that provide support, they are in charge of looking for financial channels and contribute to achieving the recognition of these rights by setting achievable goals so as not to generate false expectations. In addition, indigenous organizations also have the challenge of providing real and committed support with their grassroots.
Finally, CEDIA expresses its satisfaction with the achievement achieved by the SAASA native community, which is a recognition of their persistence in respecting their territorial rights and the collaborative work with the Native Communities Area of the DRSAU. We renew our commitment to responsible work to achieve the recognition of the territorial rights of indigenous peoples.