Block 192: dialogue flounders, again
27 August 2017
On 22 August, dialogue between government and indigenous representatives from the communities of the four river basins affected by Block 192 broke down. The reason was the refusal of the state to give an answer to and guarantee indigenous groups the right to a fresh consultation before a new 30-year oil contract is awarded. Indigenous representatives have given the government 20 days to respond to their demands or, they say, they will stop any oil activities happening in the area.
As we have previously reported, the Peruvian government has been very hesitant to give a straight answer on a new consultation for Block 192. A number of communities decided to block the local oil highway and aerodrome to demand a new consultation. Now, with dialogue coming to an abrupt end, the threat of renewed conflict is a real possibility.
On a positive note, the talks did bring some progress with regard to environmental remedies. It was agreed that the Independent Technical Study (first agreed in March 2015), will make recommendations for the remedy of the more than 2,000 contaminated sites, and that the necessary funds would be made available to the UNDP for the study to be conducted. The authorities also informed the communities about new oil legislation that will fill the legal gap that has allowed it to be possible that there is still no withdrawal plan for Block 192. The Ministry of Energy and Mines has promised to present the legislation in 30 days.