Inter-American Human Rights Commission enters oil spill fray

03 August 2019

On 26 July the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH) and its Special Rapporteur for Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (REDESCA) issued a press communiqué expressing their concerns about the two recent oil spills from Peru’s north Amazonian oil pipeline (owned and operated by the state oil company Petroperú) and the impacts on nearby indigenous communities. 

The special rapporteur, Soledad García Muñoz, stated that “the Peruvian state ought to adopt reasonable measures to avoid human rights violations in the face of a known situation of real and immediate risk . . . associated with activities of extraction, exploitation or development”.

More specifically, the commission and special rapporteur urged the Peruvian state to take urgent action to remedy the negative impacts on the environment and involve the affected indigenous communities in any decision affecting their rights.

Meanwhile, after two days of dialogue with representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office (PCM), the two communities affected by one of the spills, Nueva Jerusalén and Nueva Nazareth, have concluded that their demands have not been satisfied. They are now pressing for fresh dialogue with the management of Frontera Energy and representatives of the Canadian Embassy, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ombudsman. They are demanding that the remediation of the affected sites be guaranteed; that the contamination be controlled by valves regulating the flow of petroleum; and that they be indemnified for damages they have suffered. 

 

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