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21 Aug 2006

Milagros Salazar, Inter Press Service

Indigenous Community to Take Oil Company to Court [Peru]

For thirty years the Achuar people in the Corrientes River basin were unable to stop outsiders from polluting their environment. Now, the indigenous group is about to become the first in Peru to take legal action, as it plans to file suit against the companies it blames for the damages...One of the most revealing reports comes from the Ministry of Health...it contains the first government warnings about high blood concentrations of cadmium and lead in Achuar people...Pluspetrol Norte...denied that the company is responsible for the high metal concentrations in the blood...China's state-run National Petroleum Corporation...acquired a 45 percent share of Pluspetrol Norte...[CNPC said]: "The company adheres closely to the limits set by the law...we cannot conclude that the levels of contaminants in the blood are due to heavy metals in the rivers. No causal correlation can be made..."

Part of the following timelines

Perú: Comunidad indígena evalúa demandar a Pluspetrol Norte por contaminación

Occidental lawsuit (re Achuar communities contamination, Peru)