LIMA – Thousands of Peruvian Indians blocking the Marañon River in the Amazonian jungle region of Loreto to protest damage done by an oil spill agreed to end their protest.
An official of the Iquitos river port authority told Efe that the natives agreed to end the blockade of the Marañon, one of the main transport routes in the jungle region, after meeting with representatives of the regional government and the company they are protesting against, Argentina’s Pluspetrol.
The Indians demand that the oil company fulfill the agreements reached after a June 19 oil spill.
Though Pluspetrol says that it has complied with the agreement and the waters of the Marañon are no longer polluted, the Indians say that problems persist and therefore the company must continue to distribute food and other provisions as it did at first.
Under the accord reached Thursday, both parties are waiting until the National Water Authority issues a report on the current environmental situation of the river waters.
With that understanding, river transit for freight and passengers returned to normal around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, while the roughly 4,000 Indian protesters went back to their communities.
A possible drowning occurred during the protests when a 19-year-old Indian man fell in the river Thursday morning as a private boat tried to break through the blockade.
A Peruvian navy patrol boat is searching the river in an attempt to recover the body of the missing man, the Iquitos port authority said. EFE