All the winners


Rights of indigenous people


Karin Ruth Anchelia Jesusi is a Peruvian human rights defender who fights for the rights of indigenous people. As an advisor to indigenous organizations, she mainly supports women and youth. Karin is one of the founders of the Warmis sin Fronteras collective, as well as a volunteer with the Association of Peruvian Women Affected by Forced Sterilizations (AMPAEF). She also works for the National Confederation of Peruvian Communities Affected by Mining (CONACAMI Peru), the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women (ONAMIAP) and the Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organizations (CAOI).



Interview with Karin Ruth Anchelia Jesusi - July 15, 2023

Could you please introduce yourself? 

My name is Karin Ruth Anchelia Jesusi and I'm a Peruvian human rights defender; I work with organizations for the rights of indigenous peoples throughout the country, and more specifically for the empowerment and access to rights of Peruvian women and girls. I also work for the rights of the "Pacha Mama/ madre tierra" and the fight for respect for the environment in Latin America.

Could you tell me more about your project and your association?

I work to defend the rights of indigenous populations, in a Peruvian context where the government is hardening its domestic policy. We also work to protect the environment (La Pachamama, La Madre Tierra). In Peru, economic interests (deforestation, hydrocarbon exploitation and mining) carried out for the "national interest" run counter to the defense of these human rights (rights of indigenous peoples, respect for the land).

Mining concessions and extraction activities generate displacements of populations in violation of territorial rights, as well as environmental destruction. In addition, these activities have harmful effects such as air and water contamination, which have a major impact on indigenous populations.

How did the Marianne initiative help you make your project a reality? What activities did you find most useful during the program? 

The Marianne initiative has really been an important source of collaboration with other players, as well as training through the mastery of new legal instruments, which will help me a lot in the future.

It was also, and above all, an opportunity to learn more about the reality of environmental protection in Europe and France: it was very interesting to observe and compare European conceptions and those of the Peruvian indigenous peoples, between the Western struggle to preserve the environment and the struggle waged in Latin America for the "right of the land", with a sacred vision of the PachaMama: I think these two visions have a lot in common, and we need to work together because the ultimate goal is the same: to preserve our planet and its environment, because its degradation affects us all. Of course, it affects more the indigenous peoples who live from agricultural, non-industrialized activities: the slightest climate change directly affects our way of life. That's why it's so important to raise awareness of this cause on an international level.

Have you kept in touch with the other program winners?

Of course we are! We're still in touch. I've remained particularly close to the other Spanish-speaking winners, the Latin American group. We plan to continue working together on projects to defend human rights in Latin America, on the theme of environmental protection, the right to land, but also enforced disappearances. I also kept in touch with prizewinners defending the same human rights as myself on other continents: For example, Lobe, who defends the right of local populations to access their land in Cameroon.

Generally speaking, we've all forged bonds of friendship and coordination that endure: right now, with the month of July marked by the return of many to their home countries, we're communicating a lot about our feelings and sensations in relation to the "return to reality" and project set-up.

Would you like to add anything? 

Yes, I'd like to add that the Marianne initiative, which has been an invaluable experience for me and all the other prizewinners, must endure and not just be tied to the mandate of a single president. In my view, it needs to be transformed into a genuine state policy, as it provides real support for foreign and human rights activists. Even if France is currently facing a difficult domestic political context, this initiative is really useful and valuable for defending human rights abroad and in France.

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