Vietnamese oil company PetroVietnam has bought a stake in two Peruvian oil blocks in a region known to be inhabited by uncontacted tribes.
The company has bought a 52.6 per cent stake in Anglo-French Perenco’s block 67 and 35 per cent of block 39 owned by Spanish company Repsol. Both blocks lie near the Ecuador border in the northern Peruvian Amazon.
The European companies have been globally criticised for carrying out damaging oil work in the region despite evidence that uncontacted tribes live there.
Survival International says Indians could be 'decimated' if oil exploration continues as they lack immunity to diseases brought by outsiders.
A 200 kilometre pipeline planned by Perenco will cut across the Indians’ territory, increasing the devastating possibility of unwanted contact.
Perenco denies the uncontacted tribes exist and has repeatedly cited an anthropological report as proof. But in May this year, the Guardian newspaper published evidence the report had omitted which shows that tribes are present in the area.
Now PetroVietnam faces condemnation from Peru’s indigenous organisations who are demanding the right of uncontacted Indians to be left alone.