Liz Chicaje Churay from Peru is awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights 2018
Liz Chicaje Churay contributed significantly to the integration of the native communities into the process of Yaguas becoming a National Park.
In the year of the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, Germany and France are honouring 15 people who have courageously taken a stand for the protection of human rights. Among those awarded with the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights (Deutsch-Französischer Preis für Menschenrechte und Rechtsstaatlichkeit 2018) is Liz Chicaje Churay from Peru.
Born in the Native Community of Boras de Pucaurquillo, Liz Chicaje belongs to the Bora people. At 34 years of age, she was the president of one of the oldest and most organized federations of the Peruvian Amazon, the Federation of Native Communities of Ampiyacu – FECONA.
Representing FECONA and together with other Federations, Liz Chicaje worked on the good governance of a large indigenous landscape between the Napo, Putumayo and Amazon rivers bordering Colombia and Brazil. She was a member of the Committee for the Categorization of the Yaguas Reserved Zone and contributed significantly to the integration of the native communities into the process of Yaguas becoming a National Park.
In 2017 she was invited by Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23), as one of the last actions as president of FECONA, to talk about the process of categorization of Yaguas as a National Park at the Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany.
She was a key person in the Declaration of the Yaguas National Park in January of this year and is currently part of the Ad-HOC commission for the elaboration of the Yaguas Master Plan.
Liz and the 14 other dedicated awardees also represent the many other human rights defenders who remain unrecognized for their work and often suffer great injustice in the struggle for justice. “Our recognition and respect go to all of them for turning the words of the Declaration into action”, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France said.