JUDGE ADMITS LAWSUIT ON OIL BLOCKS IN NEW NATIONAL PARK IN PERU

Peruvian judge Jose Enrique Ríos Reategui has admitted a lawsuit filed by regional indigenous federation ORPIO against Peru’s Energy Ministry, Perupetro, and SERNANP, the Environment Ministry agency responsible for running "protected natural areas." ORPIO, supported by the Lima-based Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL), is asking the judge to rule that the Energy Ministry and Perupetro re-draw the limits of an oil and gas concession, Lot 135, overlapping a proposed reserve for indigenous peoples living in "isolation" inside the Sierra del Divisor National Park. ORPIO is also asking the judge to rule that SERNANP change the zoning in the recently-approved management plan for the park, which explicitly permits oil and gas companies to operate in the northern part of the park which is used by both indigenous peoples in "isolation" as well as the Matsés. The lawsuit, filed in Iquitos in Peru’s Loreto region, was initially rejected by the judge on mainly administrative grounds, but was subsequently re-submitted. (30/05/17)

David Hill