Matses Tribe

Matsés Teachers Elect New Board of Directors

Governing body is now 100% indigenous Amazonian


The Matsés teachers have elected a new board of directors to represent them in their non-profit association. The Matsés Move-ment has reelected Daniel Manquid Jiménez Huanán as Director, Segundo Fasabi Fasabi as Subdirector, Wilder Flores Gonzales as Secretary, Guillermo Necca Pemen Menque as Treasurer, and Elisban Nacua Dëmash Bëso as Spokesperson.   The new elections were held in a special meeting of the Matses teachers in the City of Iquitos, Peru located on the Amazon River. The chief of the Matsés Native Community, Angel Uaqui Dunu Maya was present at the meeting in which the Matses teachers elected a 100% native leadership for their association.      

MATSES new board of directors


he Matsés Movement (formerly, the Movement in the Amazon for Tribal Subsistence and Economic Sustainability - M.A.T.S.E.S.) held general elections in order to choose new leaders for their non-profit association. The General Assembly of the Matsés Movement is composed of Matsés teachers and there was unanimous support by the teachers for the newly elected officials.  Daniel Manquid Jiménez Huanán was reelected Director, while Segundo Fasabi Fasabi took over as Subdirector.  In addition, Wilder Flores Gonzales was elected as the new Secretary, Guillermo Necca Pemen Menque as Treasurer, and Elisban Nacua Dëmash Bëso as Spokesperson.  The Board of Directors is one-hundred percent indigenous Matsés and will serve as the governing body for the MATSES organization.  In addition, Wilder Flores is the "Subjefe" (Vice Chief) of the Matsés Native Community. 

While some believe that recently contacted indigenous Amazonians like the Matsés people are innocent and should be somehow isolated and protected from the outside world by the government, the MATSES organization believes that the Matsés tribe themselves should be allowed to control and determine their own destiny. If the Matsés people are isolated and controlled by the government, they will most probably be exploited by that same government. The Peruvian government’s selling of oil concessions to a foreign oil company of Matsés titled lands is vivid proof the manner in which they can be exploited and how governmental control could lead to the destruction of their indigenous culture.

The Matsés Movement believes that education is the key to survival of the Matsés culture. Only an educated, united Matsés people will be able to defend themselves from being exploited by foreign invaders such as oil companies and the Peruvian government. Unfortunately, educating the Matsés people is an expensive task due to the long distances that are required to travel in order to reach Matsés villages that are located in the remote frontier of Peru and Brazil. The Matsés people need to understand the risks to their rainforest and their culture posed by the exploration, development, and extraction of petroleum by oil workers, and who better able to inform the Matsés people than the Matsés teachers themselves.

It is important to understand that the Matsés people generally have no access to cash, obtaining all their needs for survival from the rainforest itself. Although schools are free for all Matsés children, many can not attend due to a lack of school supplies. The Matsés Movement has provided hundreds of Matsés children with notebooks, pencils and other school supplies with their “Adopt an Indigenous School” program.

The Director (Daniel Manquid Jimenez) of the Matsés Movement traveled to the capital of Lima, Peru in order to meet with representatives of the Rainforest Foundation and AIDESEP (the national organization of the Indigenous Amazonian people of Peru) in order to discuss how to best help the Matsés people and prevent the destruction of their culture by outsiders, in particular oil companies. In addition, they met with Fred Prins, the former principal representative of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) in Peru. WWF Peru is also educating indigenous tribes about the threats to indigenous cultures posed by oil companies and how indigenous people can prevent their being exploited by these foreign invaders.

In addition to meeting with indigenous and conservation organizations in Lima, the MATSES Director and the MATSES Coordinator met with the Lic. Melvy Ormaeche Macassi of the Division of Statistics of the Peruvian Ministry of Health where they presented seminars on various MATSES programs and Matsés traditional medicines. The MATSES organization successfully petitioned the Division of Statistics to perform an epidemiological study (ASIS - Analysis of Health Situation) of the Matsés people. The epidemiological study involves gathering basic epidemiological information on ages and life expectancy of the Matsés population and morbidity and mortality due to various diseases such as hepatitis and malaria. This basic epidemiological information will be used to plan future health programs and could open the way for significant international health aid to finally reach the Matsés people.


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