The leader of Nuevo Perú and third most-voted candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, Veronika Mendoza has added her voice to the polemic surrounding the hydrocarbons legislation currently before Congress.

While she welcomed the possibilities of fresh investment in hydrocarbons, she warned of the dangers of giving carte blanche to second-rate investors at the expense of indigenous peoples and the environment. Speaking on 6 September, she called on President Martín Vizcarra to make his position clear. “It is a very dangerous law”, she said, “and for this reason I call on President Vizcarra to tell us what his position is on this issue”.

The legislation, introduced by the Kuczynski administration last year, seeks to boost investment in oil development in the Amazon region by extending contracts, lowering royalties and lifting environmental controls. She pointed to the poor practice of existing contractors in the Amazon in maintaining high environmental standards and to their bad reputation in investing in other countries.

The bill is currently before Congress, where it seems to enjoy decided support from the majority Fuerza Popular (FP) party. The Ministry of Energy and Mines, which seeks to attract investors to Peru, is pushing for its speedy approval and promulgation.