Worldwide protests demand protection for Peru’s uncontacted tribes

By agency reporter
25 Apr 2013

Supporters of Survival International held protests outside Peruvian embassies and consulates in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Madrid and Paris on 23 April, calling for an end to the deadly expansion of the Camisea gas project in Peru’s Amazon rainforest. Camisea threatens the lives of uncontacted Indians.

Protesters in London and Madrid, dressed as gas workers with masks and helmets, carried placards symbolising the lethal effects of the Camisea project. The protesters handed oil canisters filled with the names of 120,000 people to the Peruvian embassies and consulates, asking Peru’s President to stop outsiders and companies from invading uncontacted tribes’ land.

Peru’s government is on the brink of approving a huge expansion of the notorious Camisea gas project which would penetrate further into the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, home to several uncontacted and isolated tribes.

Camisea already lies in the heart of the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, which is the buffer zone to the Manu National Park, considered by UNESCO to be "the most biodiverse place on earth’." It is Peru’s largest gas project, and is run by Argentina’s Pluspetrol, US’s Hunt Oil and Spain’s Repsol.

The UN recently called for the "immediate suspension" of the Camisea expansion over the risk it represents to the lives of uncontacted tribes living nearby.

Uncontacted Indians are extremely vulnerable to diseases brought in by outsiders – initial exploration in the Camisea block in the 1980s led to the deaths of half the Nahua tribe.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, "The UN wants to suspend the Camisea expansion. Thousands of people worldwide are against it. International law prohibits it. So why is this lethal project still on the cards? Not only is the government putting its reputation in jeopardy, it’s guilty of breaking international law."

[Ekk/4]

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