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News > Latin America

Repsol Oil Spill Causes 'Ecocide' in The Pacific Ocean

  • Worker holds a bird affected by the oil spill, Peru, Jan. 21, 2022.

    Worker holds a bird affected by the oil spill, Peru, Jan. 21, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @ravishmii

Published 21 January 2022

The spill of 6,000 barrels of oil caused serious damage to the South American marine and coastal ecosystems

On Thursday, Peru's President Pedro Castillo announced urgent actions to sanction those responsible for the oil spill at La Pampilla refinery.


Peru: Foreign Min Seeks International Support for Oil Spill

From these facilities, which are operated by the Spanish company Repsol, at least 6,000 barrels of oil were poured into the Pacific Ocean. They contaminated an area of almost 1.2 square kilometers.

"The ecological damage to our coastline is inadmissible. The State has ordered criminal, civil, and administrative actions so as to protect our country's sovereignty and wellbeing," Castillo said after visiting one of the most affected beaches in the Callao province.

"We are facing one of the largest ecocides that have occurred on our coasts and seas. The government will sanction those responsible for a damage that tragically affects flora and fauna," he stressed, noting that the oil spill also endangers the livelihoods of thousands of Peruvians who live from marine and coastal resources.

Castillo was also emphatic in pointing out that his administration will not tolerate that corporate actions "trample our ecosystems and the honor of our people with impunity."

On Thusday, the Environmental Ministry's Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement (OEFA) determined that the oil spill had directly affected a marine area of ​​at least 1.2 square kilometers. Due to the movement of the waves, however, the contamination reached land and affected 1.7 square kilometers of beaches.

The Spanish company holds that the spill was a consequence of the intense waves that occurred after the eruption of a volcano in Tonga. The opinion of experts, however, is different. The Peruvian Navy affirms that the waves had nothing to do with the rupture of the oil infrastructure that preceded the spill,” outlet El Comercio reported, adding that the navy technicians are conducting an in-depth investigation into what happened.

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