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  • The oil spill in Loreto, Peru has triggered a state of emergency for the next 60 days.

    The oil spill in Loreto, Peru has triggered a state of emergency for the next 60 days. | Photo: @FiscaliaPeru

Published 12 July 2019

A total of 1,230 families have been affected by a ruptured oil pipeline.

The northern area of Peru will be in a state of emergency for the next 60 days after a major oil spill in the Amazon last month has contaminated the main water source of five Indigenous communities.

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A total of 1,230 families have been affected by a ruptured oil pipeline that has poured into the Maraňon River in the Loreto department of northeastern Peru, say the nation's defense department.

The oil spill comes weeks after hundreds of Indigenous community members in the region attacked the Norperuano Pipeline owned by the state oil company, PetroPeru.

The National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy (SNMPE) reported a loss of two million dollars a day due to the leak.

Nearly 30 attacks have taken place against the Norperuano pipelines since 2014 as a form of protest by Indigenous against the lines. They say the state must follow Peruvian law and consult with group leaders prior to signing hydrocarbon extraction contracts in their backyard.

If demands are met, say community leaders, the sabotages would end. A group of a few hundred Indigenous fighters occupied the Petroperu pipeline that travels through Loreto, for weeks last January.

The pipeline, built four years ago, transports crude oil from the biodiverse Amazon region to Peru's coast, roughly 800 km, making it one of the nation’s largest above-ground oil lines.

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