Indigenous protesters have held more than 100 tourists and locals on boats for more than a day to force the Peruvian government to take action against an oil spill in the Amazon region where they live. has been released.
Cucuma, an indigenous people, has been holding boats of Peruvian and foreign tourists (including US and European citizens and at least three British nationals) in Loreto, Peru’s largest Amazon region, since Thursday.
Indigenous Amazonians were protesting the spillage of about 2,500 barrels into the Kuninico River in September. Tourists and locals were released on Friday and transferred to separate boats, but indigenous leaders vowed the protests and river blockade would continue.
“After a dialogue with [head] Our request to free people out of the Kuninico community has been granted. said on Twitter.
Indigenous group leader Watson Trujillo confirmed his agreement with local media.
“Right to life and respect for life must be a top priority. Told.
“This action, the second one, is due to constant oil spills on the Kuninico River. We went to the boat and informed [the tourists] Why this is being done: because of the president’s carelessness, ”the leader added.
He said the spill affected nearly 1,000 residents in his village, as well as nearly 80 other communities, many of which lack running water, electricity, or telephone lines.
According to local media, no tourists were harmed physically.
Among the people filmed on board were pregnant women, one-month-old babies, and people with diabetes and disabilities.
The number of detainees reportedly ranged from 70 to 300, including 17 to 23 foreign nationals, including Swiss, Americans, Spanish and French. increase.
Charlotte Wilshire, a British woman, said early on Friday that food and water were in short supply, sanitation was limited and “not just us, but the sick and the elderly in need of help. there is,” he said. But we also need help for Peruvians. ”
But Peruvian Prime Minister Anibal Torres played down the incident on Friday, accusing the Cugnico community of cutting oil pipelines and later “claiming compensation”.
His statement was rejected by indigenous leaders whose communities live primarily on fishing, hunting and farming and have been severely affected.
The spill occurred in the state-run NorPeruano pipeline, which was more than 40 years old and has been the subject of much criticism for its poor maintenance. Oil leaks are common in ducts that transport crude oil from rainforests to refineries on the Pacific coast.
Constant oil spills have affected health. According to blood and urine tests performed by Peruvian health authorities, children and adults in Loreto’s four major river basins (Pastaça, Maranhón, Tigre and Corrientes) have levels of toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead. was found to far exceed safety standards. Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016.
A study by Oxfam found that while a massive oil spill hit the Peruvian coast in January, covering an area the size of Paris, the Amazon region overshadowed the very existence of dozens of indigenous villages. Hundreds of threatening spills have been seen. Peruvian Human Rights Coordinator, based on official data.