Some locals have put the attacks down to the “Face Peelers”, a regional superstition, or “green goblins”.
However, the prosecutor’s office says it is more likely that members of local gold mining gangs are behind the attacks.
Prosecutors think the gangs are hoping to scare people away from their illegal gold mines, and even speculated that they are using jetpacks to access difficult-to-reach spots in the dense jungles nearby.
“They would be using state-of-the-art technology, such as thrusters that allow people to fly,” Carlos Castro Quintanilla, the Peruvian government’s prosecutor investigating the case, told Radio Programas del Perú.
The Alto Nanay region is rich in gold deposits, and illegal mining is big business there.
Quintanilla, a specialized prosecutor for environmental matters in the Loreto region, which includes Alto Nanay, told RPP that the gangs do 80 per cent of their illegal business in the Nanay River basin.
Jairo Reátegui Ávila, the leader of the Ikitu indigenous people who live in the region, was the first person to call the people “aliens”, and told the radio station they were “frightened by what is happening in the community.”
“I have shot him twice and he does not fall, but rises and disappears,” he told RPP.
The Daily Mail reported that a 15-year-old was cut on the neck in one of the attacks and was treated in hospital.
The Ikitu community has even asked the military to intervene, while citizens have organised night patrols to find the attackers.
Gold mining is largely unregulated in Peru, and gangs have settled there after having been expelled from neighbouring Brazil and Columbia. Artisanal mining boomed when the financial crisis hit in 2008, which made gold more profitable than drug trafficking.
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