LONDON – Survival International warned the United Nations of “massive oil operations” in the northern Peruvian Amazon that could “decimate” uncontacted tribal people.
“By permitting companies to operate in this region, Peru’s government is flagrantly violating international law,” the London-based group said in a letter to the U.N. special rapporteur on indigenous peoples,
“Survival believes it very important to investigate this situation as soon as possible and for Peru’s government to prohibit the companies from working there. If that is not done, some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens could be wiped out,” the letter continues.
One of the companies cited in the letter, Anglo-French Perenco, has recently spoken of transporting the equivalent of “seven Eiffel Towers” into the region, Survival pointed out.
“Perenco is awaiting approval from Peru’s Energy Ministry to build a pipeline that will cut across 207 kilometers (128 miles) of land and will affect the rainforest on either side for 500 meters (1,639 feet),” the organization said.
The other companies interested in petroleum operations in that region are Spain’s Repsol-YPF and U.S.-based ConocoPhillips, which have “applied to cut 454 kilometers (282 miles) of seismic lines in their bid to find oil.”
Survival noted in the letter that that part of the Amazon is among the most bio-diverse areas in all of South America.
According to the group, its appeal to the United Nations coincides with attempts by the Peruvian government to expel British lay missionary and environmentalist Paul McAuley “for speaking out against environmental and human rights abuses in northern Peru.” EFE