Indigenous Peruvians occupy oil wells, demand compensation
France 24, Jan 28, 2015
LIMA (AFP) – Hundreds of indigenous Indians from the Peruvian Amazon demanded compensation for land use at 14 oil wells, where their demonstrations caused production to be suspended, Argentine oil company Pluspetrol said Wednesday.
Some 300 to 400 indigenous people have been gathering at the oil wells near Peru’s border with Ecuador since Tuesday.
Pluspetrol said the demonstration had resulted in the suspension of production, and had also blocked transportation on a stretch of the Tigre River.
The protesters, who belong to the Achuar and Kichwa ethnic groups, say that dialogue with the company is a precondition for the tribes to leave the wells, the Federation of Indigenous Communities of the Corrientes River (FECONACO) said.
Pluspetrol had previously signaled it was willing to talk “in an atmosphere of social peace,” calling on the Indians to end the protest.
However, a meeting of indigenous peoples and company representatives in the oil town of Andoas in northeastern Peru failed to overcome the impasse.
Daily production of crude oil in the area totals 3,100 barrels, according to Pluspetrol.
Such production, FECONACO alleges, violates the indigenous groups’ acknowledged right to compensation for use of their resources and land.
The Indians, who blocked water access on the Tigre River, also retained eight company boats.