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Peru and Ecuador Set to Auction Off More Amazon for Oil

Pese a existir innumerables noticias, investigaciones y miles de pruebas sobre los altos niveles de contaminación en la Amazonía, causados por la explotación y exploración de pozos de petróleo de empresas extranjeras, los gobiernos de Perú y Ecuador anunciaron que cederán más territorio amazónico a entidades petroleras en los siguientes meses del año: en Noviembre la empresa Petroperú abarcará miles de hectáreas en Loreto.

Foto: Difusión

Even as indigenous people struggle to cope with current levels of contamination and illness caused by years of oil production in the Amazon, the governments of Peru and Ecuador are preparing to sell off even more Amazonian territory to the oil industry in coming months.

Starting in November, Peru’s state-run leasing agency Petroperu plans to start auctioning licenses to 36 new oil blocks for exploration, 19 of them in the northern region of Loreto. Just across the border, Ecuador is set to lease at least 13 blocks on or near waterways that eventually flow south into Peru and join the Amazon River.

Many of the blocks overlap or abut protected areas and indigenous territories and threaten the forests and rivers that indigenous people and other river people depend on for their lives.

Indigenous groups are rallying to stop their governments’ plans, and some talk of making a stand for a total moratorium on all exploration until both countries come up with a regional environmental plan.

“Oil production is an activity that definitely alters our territory, our environment, our health and our culture,” said Alfonso Lopez Tejada, leader of the federation of 57 indigenous Kukama communities along the Maranon river region in Peru, where three new lots overlap Kukama communities and threaten the famous Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

“Again they impose these lots on us just as they did not consult us when they leased our territories before,” Lopez said.

In Ecuador, indigenous groups are planning demonstrations and marches to protest the new round of concessions begin on November 28.

“We are defending our land. We won’t allow oil activity,” said Franco Viteri, president of a Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorean Amazon (Confeniae), according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Ecuadorian indigenous leaders say they will make an appeal to the country’s Constitutional Court.

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PERU Under Pressure, ConocoPhillips Withdraws from Peru

La empresa Petrolera “ConocoPhillips” anunció  el cierre de sus operaciones en las áreas 123 y 129, asimismo, suspender sus planes de expandirse por docenas  de pozos de petróleo en la reserva natural Nanay, ubicada en la Amazonía Peruana. Esto, se dio gracias a la oposición de miles de habitantes de Iquitos y el gobierno regional. Este anuncio se da después de que otra entidad petrolera, Canada’s Talisman Energy y su área 64, hiciera lo propio ante la presión de las autoridades de la región.

Foto: Difusión

ConocoPhillips announced today that they are pulling out of Oil Bocks 123 and 129 in the Peruvian Amazon. The company had been under increasing pressure from the local population in Iquitos and the regional government over their plans to drill dozens of exploratory wells in a protected area and fragile Nanay watershed.

The announcement comes just weeks after Canada’s Talisman Energy announced their withdrawal from Peru, including controversial Block 64 where Talisman had been drilling exploratory wells without the consent of the majority of Achuar people living within the oil block.

Oil Blocks 123 and 129 overlap the Upper Nanay – Pintuyacu – Chambira Regional Conservation Area. These headwaters provide over 90% of the drinking water to 500,000 residents of the city of Iquitos and neighboring villages, and contain fragile white-sand ecosystems, black-water flooded forests, and numerous endemic species.

In response to ConocoPhillip’s plans to drill XX exploratory wells this year inside the protected area thousands of people have taken to the streets in Iquitos and the President of the regional government of Loreto directly requested that ConocoPhillips cease operations.

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Peru’s Repression of Mining Protesters Condemned

Más de 80 organizaciones en defensa de los derechos humanos se unieron hoy a la protesta de miles de peruanos en contra del avance minero más grande expuesto por la Minera Yanacocha, Buenaventura y Newmont Mining: el proyecto Conga en Cajamarca. El miedo surge por el temor de que las más importantes fuentes de agua de esta región sean eliminadas, por el plan de vaciar completamente los tres lagos de montaña natural y usar los reservorios para acumular enormes cantidades de líquido tóxico generado por el funcionamiento de minas.


The Peruvian government must immediately halt violent repression of mining protesters, more than 80 environmental and human rights organizations demanded today in a statement that will be delivered to Peruvian embassies and consulates across the United States and Canada.

Protests against Peru‘s biggest mining project have been brutally put down in June and July in incidents that have left five people dead, including a 17-year-old boy, and dozens of others injured.

The protesters oppose the $4.8 billion Conga gold and copper mining project in the northern Andean province of Cajamarca, out of fear that their water supplies will be contaminated.

Mining company Minera Yanacocha last week began preparations for the construction of water reservoirs at the Conga project. Newmont Mining Co., a Denver, Colorado-based company that is the world’s second largest gold mining firm, is the project’s majority owner. Peruvian mining company Buenaventura is the minority owner.

The protesters object to mining company plans to drain three pristine mountain lakes and replace them with the reservoirs, and generate massive quantities of toxic mine waste.

Protests intensified in the last week of June after Newmont announced that the company would move forward with the Conga mine, despite growing community opposition.