External Affairs

600 Amazon Natives in Peru Take Hold of Oil Field in Land Dispute

The company that is facing the protests by two indigenous communities that are demanding payment. Credit: Wikipedia

Lima: About 600 natives of Peru’s Amazon region took control of a non-producing oil field operated by Canada’s Pacific Exploration & Production Corp and demanded payment for use of the land, a representative of the protesters said on Tuesday, April 25.

The field, oil lot 192 near the Ecuadorean border, has been idle since last year due to pipeline ruptures. Pacific Exploration & Production said a group of 30 indigenous people began the protest on Saturday.

Wilmer Chavez, president of the Oriap indigenous organisation, told Reuters by telephone that the number of protesters had grown since then to 600.

“We have to make them respect our territory,” he said.

In an email to Reuters, Pacific Exploration & Production said the field is near 19 indigenous communities, 18 of which have signed land use deals with the company.

“No payment is due at this time,” the email said.

Chavez said that two communities, Los Jardines and Alianza de Capahuari, have no agreements with the company and are demanding $308,000 as compensation for use of their lands.