Block 192 deadline passes with silence from government
16 September 2017
Communities living in the vicinity of Block 192 (in Loreto region) and the federations representing indigenous peoples from the four river valleys involved have issued a strongly-worded note of protest, having failed to receive any assurances from the government that their demands will be met.
As readers of the PSG Newsletter will recall, indigenous communities have been demanding that they be consulted before a new contract is signed to exploit Block 192, the largest onshore source of crude in the country. These calls seem to have landed on deaf ears in Lima. In the past, local communities have shown their muscle in blockading the river systems of north-eastern Peru on which companies operating in Block 192 depend for access.
The communities point to the fact that they have suffered for 45 years the effects of oil extraction in Loreto and its negative environmental impacts. They say that while companies and the state have benefitted from oil extraction, they have received only the downside. They also claim not to have been properly consulted.
The communities are now appealing to the Ombudsman’s Office (Defensoría del Pueblo), to their representatives in Congress, and to international opinion to bring pressure to bear on the Peruvian government to heed their call for consultation prior to a new contract being signed. “Without consultation there will be no oil” they say.