As news broke yesterday of the murder of four Ashaninka leaders who were defending their land against loggers in the eastern region of Ucayali, in Lima the president of Congress, Ana Maria Solorzano, was honoring another Ashaninka leader, Ruth Buendia, for her world-recognized activism in defending the environment.
Ruth Buendia, from the Junin area west of Ucayali, was presented with the Congressional Diploma of Honor at a special event in Congress yesterday.
In April, Buendia was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for the area of Central and South America, from the San Francisco-based organization known as the “green Nobel Prize.”
Sent to Lima at the age of 12 after her father was killed by Shining Path rebels in the 1990s, Buendía returned to the Ene valley and at the age of 27 became the first woman president of the leading community organization. She was instrumental in leading the succesful opposition to the building of two dams on the Ene River — Pakitzapango and Tambo 40— to supply hydroelectric energy to Brazil.