Amazonian communities at risk: documenting the harsh reality of the Kukama People of Peru in the context of COVID-19

In May, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund has contributed close to $38,000 to five organizations to address the emergency needs of workers and communities to help overcome some of the most-pressing challenges of the COVID-19 around the world.

In Peru, the SHF partnered with Asociación Quisca to provide resources to community radio station Radio Ucamara. Funds were used to broadcast public health information on COVID-19 in the Peruvian Amazon, and to set up a network of correspondents in a dozen isolated communities. By sending in reports, photos and videos on their cellphones, those frontline reporters were able to document the dire situation of the Indigenous peoples throughout the crisis.

The result is a very impactful short film directed by Leonardo Tello, Kukama filmmaker and Director of Radio Ucamara, called “Two Demons.” Exposing and denouncing the harsh realities of communities that have historically suffered from state abandonment, the film received widespread coverage in Peru.

Today, Peru is in second place in Latin America for the number of new COVID cases, and the Amazon region is still in a state of emergency. Asociación Quisca is currently working with Radio Ucamara on another film, documenting the government’s failure to respect intercultural health.

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