KICHWA BLOCKADE RIVER IN PERU'S AMAZON OVER OIL CONTAMINATION

Several 100 Kichwa men, women and children in Peru's northern Amazon are blocking a major Amazon tributary, the River Tigre, after more than 40 years of oil operations in their territories and severe environmental contamination. The blockade - done with two cables flying a Peruvian flag - has lasted almost a month and is obstructing the company, Pluspetrol, operating there. Bredy Mahipo Vargas, the leader of one of the communities involved, appeared at a media conference today in Iquitos, the nearest city, saying, ‘Are we going to allow another 30 years [of contamination]? No. We’re going to fight until the end.' Mahipo Vargas was joined by Jose Fachin, from indigenous organisation FEDIQUEP, and regional president Fernando Melendez Celis who said he supports the Kichwa’s fight. For details see my article in The Guardian today. (01-02-2015)

David Hill