Uncontacted Tribes in Peru at Risk
Peru is set to embark on a major expansion of gas operations in the Camisea region in the Amazon - a move which could decimate Indigenous peoples, both those in 'voluntary isolation' and others in the early stages of contact.
Operations in Camisea - in a concession known as Lot 88 in the Cusco region in south-east Peru - are run by a consortium headed by Pluspetrol and including Repsol-YPF and Hunt Oil. The bulk of this Lot (74% ) overlaps the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve, which was created in 1990 for 'isolated' peoples and in a bid supposedly intended to prohibit companies from operating there.
Expansion of the 'Camisea project', which is already Peru's biggest hydrocarbon development, currently consists of three distinct phases:
The first involves drilling three new wells in the reserve, and was approved, despite major controversy, in April by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). (This included the sacking of Raquel Yrigoyen Fajardo, the head of the government’s Indigenous Affairs department, INDEPA, who had blocked expansion.)
MEM's decision to approve the first phase has since been challenged and received severe criticism from various quarters, including INDEPA itself, members of Congress and civil society institutions.
Peruvian indigenous people credit: hispanicallyspeakingnews.
Read more at ENN Affiliate, The Ecologist.