CANADIAN COMPANY EXITS OIL BLOCK ON MATSES TERRITORY IN PERU’S AMAZON

Pacific Exploration and Production has abandoned an oil and gas concession in Peru's Amazon opposed for years by indigenous Matsés people. The concession, Lot 137, overlaps approximately 125,000 hectares of land titled to the Matsés, and approximately 153,000 hectares of the Matsés National Reserve, which they also consider their territory. The Matsés have issued statements opposed to Lot 137 for years - and a July 2016 report by Perupetro states the company is leaving because of their opposition. According to regional indigenous organisation ORPIO, the Matsés are now urging Peru’s government to annul the concession altogether and forgo contracting another company to operate there. Pacific, headquartered in Canada, continues to hold another concession, Lot 135, which is immediately to the south of Lot 137 and overlaps further Matsés territory as well the recently-established Sierra del Divisor National Park and a proposed off-limits reserve for indigenous peoples living in "isolation." The Matsés have repeatedly requested that Lot 135 is annulled too. (18-09-2016)

David Hill