In protest against oil spill: Indigenous people arrest tourist ship

Status: 11/04/2022 16:16 hrs

Indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon have captured dozens of tourists to draw attention to an oil spill in a pipeline. Among them would be a German.

Indigenous people have arrested a ship carrying about 70 vacationers in the Peruvian Amazon. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said there should also be a German traveler among them.

By taking hostages, the indigenous people want to demonstrate against the inaction of their government after an oil spill in a pipeline. “We want to draw the attention of the government with this action,” Watson Trujillo Acosta, community leader of the city of Cuninico, told RPP radio station.

The tourists being held captive on a tributary of the Marañon are Peruvians and foreigners, he added. According to the information, the foreign holidaymakers come from the US, Spain, France, Great Britain and Switzerland. All men, women and children are doing well, the community leader said. Old and sick people are allowed to leave the ship.

Most recently, there was a leak in the Norperuano pipeline in September. Workers from the state-owned Petroperu then erected an oil barricade on the Cuninico River.

Image: AFP

pressure on the government

Indigenous Representative Trujillo called for the imposition of a state of emergency. Government officials should investigate the rupture of the Norperuano state’s oil pipeline and the resulting environmental damage on site in mid-September.

The accident spilled 2,500 tons of crude oil into the Cuninico River. Earlier, the indigenous people had already blocked passage for all ships on the river to draw attention to the oil slick. In late September, the government declared a 90-day state of emergency in the region, home to some 2,500 indigenous peoples.

The 800-kilometer-long Norperuano pipeline, owned by state-owned Petroperu, was built about 40 years ago to transport crude oil from the Amazon to the coast. According to Petroperu, the pipeline was deliberately damaged by a 21-centimeter cut. According to the company, more than 50 claims have been registered since December last year.

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