Photo: Peruvian indians (Survival International)
Peru’s top indigenous organizations are taking on the government and powerful gas companies in an attempt to stop gas exploration that seriously threatens uncontacted Indians’ lives.
Amazon Indian organizations AIDESEP, FENAMAD, ORAU and COMARU plan to sue both the government and oil companies over proposals to expand the huge Camisea gas project into land inhabited by several uncontacted and isolated tribes.
A consortium of companies in charge of the block – which includes the US’s Hunt Oil, Spain’s Repsol and Argentine oil giant Pluspetrol – plans to cut hundreds of testing tracks through the forest, detonate thousands of explosive charges and drill exploratory wells in search of yet more gas.
75% of Camisea’s Block 88 lies inside the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, created to protect uncontacted and isolated Indians who are extremely vulnerable to disease and development projects on their land.
Survival has urged the Peruvian government to halt any extractive work taking place on land inhabited by uncontacted tribes, and abide by its previous promise not to carry out new exploration in the area.
In a statement released last week, the indigenous organizations said that any further exploratory work would lead to the ‘extinction’ of the tribes living there.