The Kukama march to the city of Iquitos to protest against toxic waste left behind by more than 40 years of oil contamination in their territories. Photograph by Deborah Rivett/The Arkana Alliance
Peruvian officials have met with representatives of hundreds of indigenous people from the country’s Amazon rainforest after they threatened to go on hunger strike in protest at what they say is government failure to aid communities affected by oil contamination.
For almost two weeks, around 500 Kukamas were camped in a square in Iquitos – the biggest city in Peru’s Amazon – after travelling from their homes along the River Marañón, by boat and on foot.
June 22, 2014. Source: WW4 Report
Photo from peruviantimes.com
Gregorio Santos, regional president of Cajamarca in northern Peru, was ordered to turn himself in for “preventative” imprisonment by a local anti-corruption prosecutor on June 17. The prosecutor, Walter Delgado, said Santos is under investigation by Peru’s Public Ministry for “illicit association” and bribery, although no details were provided. (La Republica, June 17) The left-wing Santos has been an outspoken opponent of the US-backed Conga mining project in Cajamarca. With Santos’ support, the Conga site has for months been occupied by peasant protesters who oppose the mine project. A major mobilization was held at the site on June 5, to commemorate World Environment Day. (Celedín Libre, June 7) Continue reading
Source: Caravana Climática por América Latina
If you haven’t heard of this project yet- the Climate Caravan thru Latin America is cross-continental climate action-tour, documenting climate crisis hotspots from northern Mexico to South America, organizing public events and promoting campaigns that are resisting the root causes of climate change throughout Latin America.
The Caravana Climática has been on the road for 3 months now, and we’re finishing up our first route MesoAmerica Resiststhat has taken us through Mexico and Central America.
Along the way, we’ve been connecting and collaborating with various groups and communities on the front-lines of the climate crisis- From communities resisting mining and dam projects in their region, to groups and organizations promoting food security and autonomy projects in rural and urban Latin America- our work has led us to document with video, photo, and audio recordings of some of the most relevant and pressing climate change issues in the region.
Our goal is to make it to the COP20- the 20the Conference of the Parties- the United Nations summit on Climate Change, to be held in Lima, Peru, in December. This has not been an easy endeavor… Continue reading
By David Hill, March 13, 2014. Source: Upside Down World
Photo: Rainforest Foundation Norway
Oil and gas company Repsol is selling its stake in controversial oil operations in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon inhabited by indigenous people in ‘voluntary isolation’ (IPVI), just across the border from the ITT oil fields in Ecuador.
Repsol’s move follows an investigation by the Council on Ethics within Norway’s Finance Ministry which, according to Norwegian sources, recommended the Ministry divest from the company because of its operations in this region.
The decision by Repsol to sell its stake was revealed in a report by Peru’s state oil and gas licensing agency, Perupetro, which stated that a Repsol Peru subsidiary is selling 50% of Lot 39, as the oil concession is called, to Perenco.
Repsol spokesperson Gonzalo Velasco Perez confirms the sale, saying, ‘In November Repsol started the process of ceding the 50% of the rights in Lot 39 in Peru to Perenco. The process hasn’t finished yet and will take a few more months.’
By David Hill, February 25, 2014. Source: The Guardian
A Matsigenka woman in south-east Peru where the Camisea gas project is taking place. Photograph: Glenn Shepard
Three Peruvian judges are scheduled to meet on 1 April following a lawsuit filed to stop a gas consortium from operating in a reserve in the Amazon created for indigenous peoples living in “initial contact” and “voluntary isolation.”
There are already wells in the west of the reserve where gas has been produced for years, and last month the Energy Ministry approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the expansion of operationsinvolving more wells, a pipeline extension and seismic tests further to the north, east and south.
The lawsuit was filed against the Energy Ministry and the company leading the consortium, Pluspetrol, in August 2013 by the Lima-basedInstitute for the Legal Defence of the Environment and Sustainable Development (IDLADS). It asks the judge to order, among other things, the Energy Ministry to rescind its approval of the expansion and to ban all oil and gas operations in the reserve:
We request that [the judge] orders the Ministry of Energy and Mines to exclude the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti and Others’ Reserve from any kind of promotion, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons. Continue reading
February 8, 2014. Source: WW4 Report
Peruvian police block the way to people carrying the coffins of three of the demonstrators who died during the protests against the Conga mining project in Celendin, Cajamarca, Peru, on July 6, 2013. Source: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/GettyImages
EarthRights International (ERI) on Jan. 24 filed an action in federal court in Denver on behalf of a protestor left paralyzed by police violence at the site of Colorado-based Newmont Mining‘s Conga mine project in Peru. ERI is seeking documents and information from Newmont to assist in pending legal proceedings in Peru related to the police repression of protestors against the Conga project.
Elmer Eduardo Campos Álvarez, a 32-year-old resident of the Cajamarca department, where the Conga project is planned, lost a kidney and his spleen and was paralyzed from the waist down on Nov. 29, 2011, when National Police officers shot him in the back while he was peacefully protesting. Campos was among at least 24 protestors injured by police that day.
The Yanacocha mining company, Newmont’s local subsidiary, contracted with the National Police of Peru to provide security services at the planned mine site.Officers involved in the repression of November 2011 have told local prosecutors that they were providing security to the company. The proposed Conga mine has generated strong community opposition; the project would mean the destruction of lakes held sacred by local people, who also depend on them as a water source. Continue reading
January 20, 2014. Source: Forest Peoples Programme
An aerial view of the Mipaya gas exploration camp, part of the Camisea project in the Amazon jungle near Cuzco, Peru. Photo: Cris Bouroncle /AFP/Getty Images
Oxford, UK – A Forest Peoples Programme report published today reveals the severe impacts of Peru’s biggest gas project on indigenous peoples in “voluntary isolation” (isolated peoples) in the Amazon, including epidemics, disease and forced and hostile contacts caused by project operators.
The report is published at a crucial time as the project consortium led by Pluspetrol is seeking approval for a massive planned expansion. These plans are currently on standby as project operators await formal approval from Peru’s Ministry of Culture which has already withheld endorsement on two separate occasions in part because of the risks the project poses to isolated peoples . However, the project now appears to be on the brink of being approved as on the 13th January 2014 Pluspetrol formally responded to the 3 outstanding ‘observations’ made by the Vice-Ministry of Inter-culturality.
The study draws on a variety of sources including, amongst others, the reports of government ministries and project operators, the project’s own environmental impact assessment (EIA), and its financial backers the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), many of which highlight that the project’s massive expansion plans are likely to intensify these impacts for isolated peoples. As a result, the expansion plans are liable to result in a range of impacts including further undesired contacts, increased epidemics and death rates, and reduced access to game, fish stocks, gardens and the forest for vital subsistence activities. Continue reading
January 12, 2014. Source: WW4 Report
Achuar protesting Peru’s state oil company’s plans to operate on their land, 9 May 2013. Photograph: Amazon Watch
Achuar indigenous leader Segundo García Sandi began a hunger strike Jan. 7 to demand his freedom at Huayabamba prison in Iquitos, Peru. García Sandi was arrested Dec. 5, on charges of tampering with an oil pipeline run by Argentine company Pluspetrol through his people’s territory in the remote north of Loreto department. He claims he is being held illegally without evidence, but a habeas corpus action filed by his supporters has met with no response by Peru’s judicial authorities.
García Sandi’s organization, the Río Corrientes Federation of Native Communities (FECONACO), asserts the arrest is retaliation for his demands for environmental justice. FECONACO reports that five Achuar children died in December as a result of contamination related to oil operations in the area, and that a state of emergency announced by Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal in October for the Corrientes Valley, calling for special monitoring, is going unenforced. The Environment Ministry in November took the rare step of fining Pluspetrol $7 million for contamination to the Loreto rainforest. (Servindi, Jan. 11; La Región, Loreto, Jan. 8; Mariátegui blog, Jan. 7; La Región, Dec. 20; AP, Nov. 27)
16 October, 2013. Source: Forest Peoples’ Programme
Photos in an internal report by a Peruvian government agency reveal illegal clearings in a reserve in the Amazon purportedly protecting indigenous peoples living in ‘voluntary isolation’ and ‘initial contact.’
The report is based on helicopter over-flights of the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve (KNNR) made by the National Institute for the Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afroperuvian Peoples (INDEPA) on 2 and 3 February 2012.
Almost a quarter of the KNNR is superimposed by a gas concession, Lot 88, where a consortium led by Pluspetrol has exploited the Camisea gas fields since 2004. According to the report, the clearings, numbering seven in total, are all at the same locations where Pluspetrol is now hoping to drill up to 21 new wells as part of a massive expansion of its operations.
One of the report’s conclusions reads, ‘Of the seven projected future drilling platforms forming part of the Exploration and Development of Lot 88 (San Martin Este, San Martin Norte, Kimaro Centro, Kimaro Norte, Kimaro Oeste, Armihuari Norte and Armihuari Sur), all are marked with clearings.’ Continue reading
Deadly attack on family of miner leader
September 25, 2013. Source: World War 4 Report
The wife and infant son of a local mining leader were assassinated last week in the community of Pamputa, Coyllurqui district, Cotabambas province, Apurímac region, Peru. The bodies were found Sept. 18 by Carmelo Hanco, president of the local Artisenal Miners Association of Los Apus de Chunta, when he returned home from a trip to Abancay, the regional capital, where he had been petitioning authorities for the “formalization” of mining claims. Authorities said the killings took place during a robbery, but Hanco said he suspected the involvement of the Xstrata mining company—which he charged has been pressing for the arrest of independent artisenal miners in the region with an eye towards establishing its own operations. The company has for 10 years operated a giant gold, silver and copper mine at nearby Las Bambas (Chahuahuacho district), above the opposition of both local artisenal miners and campesinos. (Con Nuestro Peru, Sept. 21)
Xstrata is currently taking bids for sale of the mine at Las Bambas, as a condition imposed by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) for its approval of Swiss-based Xstrata’s merger with another Anglo-Swiss mineral giant, Glencore. Jiangxi Copper, China’s top producer, andChinalco Mining, another Chinese giant, are leading bidders. (Mining.com, Aug. 23)
More unrest is meanwhile reported from Puno region, bordering Lake Titicaca, the scene of numerous conflicts related to mineral exploitation. A local uprising broke out in the town of Huancané on Sept. 20, with roads blocked and a 72-hour paro, or civil strike, declared. One of the town councilors and another provincial official who were accused of corruption were detained by a mob and publicly whipped with a belt. (La Republica, Sept. 20)