Another oil spill threatens jungle communities

3 June2018

The latest spill from the ageing and poorly maintained Northern Peru Pipeline is in the district of Andoas. The apu of the community Porvenir describes how he was awakened at 6am on 25 May by the smell of oil and immediately dispatched monitors to investigate.

The Northern Pipeline has fractured many times in recent months and years. Petroperú has said previously that spills have arisen from deliberate sabotage, a claim vigorously denied by civil society organisations. This time, the community reports that the break is under water in the river Pastaza at a depth of 4 metres, hardly sabotage. The plant producing drinking water is threatened with contamination.

 Representatives of the Federación Indígena Quechua del Pastaza (FEDIQUEP) are now in Lima seeking a response from Petroperú. So far, the Saramurillo Accords, signed in December 2016 by an impressive range of ministers and promising a fresh approach, have remained largely a dead letter. Once again, health and livelihoods are at risk.

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