Indigenous protesters in Peru occupied over a dozen oil wells last week, demanding compensation for the pollution of their ancestral lands.
The wells are owned by Pluspetrol, an Argentine energy company that has been at odds with local tribes for many years. The tribe leading the charge against the company is the Achuar, a tribe of over 10,000 people that are native to the Amazon of Peru.
This specific site was responsible for nearly 1/4th of the whole country’s oil output, but production on the site has decreased by at least 70% since it has become the target of protests last year. Before the protests began, the fields produced between 15,000 and 17,000 barrels of oil each day, but now they only produce around 5,000 per day.
The site has also been devastating the local environment, making it impossible for native tribes in the area to live their lives.
According to the human rights group Racimos de Ungurahui, pollution from the oil fields have even caused acid rain which some 8,000 people were exposed to. There have been over 90 oil spills in the area over the past three years, and a “state of emergency” has been declared on several occasions due to spills at this site.
Carlos Sandi, head of the indigenous group, Feconaco, says that Pluspetrol has until Friday to respond to their demands.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.