Shortlist; Shipibo-Konibo: The Healing Plants by Florence Goupil
The epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic has moved to the Peruvian Amazon, endangering the lives of the indigenous Shipibo-Konibo people. In December 2020, more than 209,179 confirmed cases and 3,106 deceased were reported by the Peruvian Department of Indigenous Peoples, including elders and indigenous leaders with the symptoms of Covid-19. Faced with government negligence over the lack of medical care and the collapse of the only Amazonian hospital, the Shipibo-Konibo brought together a group of traditional nurses, named ‘Comando Matico’, in order to heal their people with the use of their plant-based medicines. ‘Plants don’t leave us and we don’t leave plants,’ states Ronald Suárez, president of the indigenous organisation Coshikox. Ronald recently lost his mother and states that an encyclopedia of knowledge linked to the use of plants and the biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon disappears every time an elders dies. Like Ronald, many Shipibo-Konibo consider this situation as a genocide by abandonment.