The Ashaninka are one of the largest indigenous groups in South America, their ancestral homelands ranging from Brazil to Peru. Since colonial times, their existence has been difficult — they have been enslaved, had their lands taken away or destroyed, and were caught up in the bloody internal conflict in Peru during the late 20th century.
Today, a large communal reserve set aside for the Ashaninka is under threat by the proposed Pakitzapango dam, which would displace some 10,000 Ashaninka. The dam is part of a large set of hydroelectric projects planned between the Brazilian and Peruvian governments – without any original consultation with the Ashaninka. Bowing to recent pressure from indigenous groups, development one other dam in the project, the Tambo-40, has already been halted. The Pakitzapango dam on Peru’s Ene River is currently on hold, though the project has not been withdrawn yet.