INDIGENOUS FEDERATION IN PERU’S AMAZON URGES GOVT TO ANNUL OIL BLOCKS

Indigenous federation ORPIO, based in the city of Iquitos in the northern Peruvian Amazon, is calling on Peru’s Energy Ministry and Perupetro to annul two oil concessions overlapping land inhabited by the Matsés and indigenous peoples living in “isolation.” As I wrote in a recent article in The Guardian, both oil concessions are superimposed over a proposed reserve for the indigenous peoples in “isolation”, and one of them is superimposed over the Sierra del Divisor National Park, established in late 2015. ORPIO, supported by the Instituto de Defensa Legal, has already taken legal action against both the Energy Ministry and Perupetro, as well as SERNANP, the Environment Ministry agency running the park. ORPIO’s president, Huitoto man Jorge Perez Rubio, says that the lives of the indigenous peoples in “isolation” are gravely threatened and therefore the oil concessions, called Lot 135 and Lot 137, should be immediately annulled. National indigenous federation AIDESEP, based in Lima, has also taken legal action against the Culture Ministry, requesting a judge to order the Ministry to move forward with establishing the reserve (17-10-2017).

David Hill