Environmental activist Olivia Arévalo Lomas of the Shipibo Konibo Indigenous people of Peru has been assassinated. Two other female Shipibo leaders have received death threats. Olivia Arévalo Lomas was an Ikaro (singer) who was a wise woman healer and practitioner of a traditional form of singing medicine. Their songs, known as Onyanya (‘plant songs’), are taught to healers through a specific dietary regime lasting roughly four years. It’s intended to immerse the singer in the healing powers of plants and help them inherit the songs(you can hear her singing in a clip below).
She was an activist who stood up for her community and their indigenous lands. All over the Amazon industrialized countries use any means to silence and displace indigenous people – down to murdering their leaders, sadly a pattern happening around the world and ignored by mainstream media.
“Communities that take a stand against environmental destruction are now in the firing line of companies’ private security guards, state forces and contract killers. For every land and environmental defender who is killed, many more are threatened with death, eviction and destruction of their resources. “These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a systematic assault on remote and indigenous communities by state and corporate actors.” Billy Kyte, Global Witness
FECONAU – the Federation for Ucayali and Afluentes Native Communities (one of the oldest indigenous federations of the Peruvian Amazon) and COSHICOX call for national and international solidarity in calling on the Peruvian state to bring those responsible to justice, and to provide guarantees for the safety of two other Indigenous leaders of the Shipibo Konibo people who today face death threats and harassment.
Olivia Arévalo Lomas was an activist protecting her way of life, protecting her indigenous lands. She was a wise woman, a female healer – the very embodiment of the vision, teaching, and activism the world needs. As someone whose roots are in the Celtic/pre-Celtic Bean Feasa (wise woman) tradition, Olivia Arévalo Lomas is an inspiration for women standing up for indigenous rights and our role in the Western world to support indigenous women, to listen to their voices and help their struggle in any way we can.
Olivia Arévalo Lomas sings a traditional healing song