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20 Jun 2016

Peru Support Network

Peru: Petroperu admits responsibility for oil spills affecting indigenous peoples in the Amazon

“Petroperu admits to jungle spill”

On 9 June, Petroperú for the first time admitted responsibility for the oil spills that have affected communities in the Peruvian Amazon. It did so in a public hearing as part of the 158th Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission (IACHR), held in Chile. Government representatives invited the Commission to visit the country, specifically those sites affected by oil spills…The hearing had been requested by the community of Cuninico, the Organización Regional de Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonía Norte del Perú (ORPIAN-P), the Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL), the Vicariato of Iquitos and the Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH)…There were a number of powerful witness statements at the hearing by community members…of the effects on the health of families whose main food source is from the contaminated rivers. The communities lack health services to help them remedy such problems…OEFA, the government agency responsible for overseeing environmental impacts, had previously found Petroperú responsible for the oil spills in Cuninico, blaming it for a lack of due diligence in maintaining and repairing the Northern Peru Pipeline which links the jungle oilfields with the coast.