Protest Against Maple Gas Corporation in Pucallpa, Monday, October 1st

Servindi, September 30, 2012. – On Monday, October 1, beginning at 7 in the morning, there will be a protest in front of the adminstartive headquarters of Maple Gas in Pucallpa. The event is in solidarity with the Shipibo community of Canaan de Cachiyacu that have taken control of 9 oil wells in Lot 31 B 28 days ago due to the intransigence of the company, which refuses to pay compensation for the environmental damages caused to the community for over 37 years.

The call is made by ORAU – the Ucayali Regional Organization of AIDESEP (the national Amazonian indigenous organization of Peru), the Federation of Native Communities of Ucayali (FECONAU) and the Network of Indigenous Communicators of Peru (REDCIP) subsidiary Ucayali, and has the support of institutions and social organizations and environmentalists.

REDCIP joins the initiative tomorrow to celebrate ¨The Day of the Journalist¨ and in protest of the indifference of the mass media, which is not providing adequate coverage of the community´s protest.

Background

Since Sept. 2, hundreds of indigenous people from the Shipibo community of Caanan de Cachiyacu, have taken over nine oil wells belonging to the company Maple Gas Corporation in Lot 31-B, in search of solutions for the contamination caused by oil activity.

Basilio VenancioRodríguez, head of the community in the province of Ucayali, Loreto region, said the strike is necessary because the company refuses to take into account the environmental impact assessment prepared by an independent consultant.

They demand that the company pay compensation for the contamination of their territories. They argue that there is 37 years of soil and water contamination due to the company´s use of chemicals and heavy metals, which have rendered their lands infertile.

Several of the villagers say that they are sick, and directly blame the company for contaminating their river and creeks, waters that are consumed by community members because they do not have water wells.

In 2011 an oil spill occurred in the territory of the native community of Nuevo Sucre, in the Loreto region, also due to Maple Gas´s negligence.

Lizardo Cauper Pezo, at that time president of the Federation of Native Communities of the Lower Ucayali (FECONBU), reported that the company is responsible for five consecutive oil spills that occurred in their waterways between 2009 and 2010.

Last year there was an oil spill of 10 barrels of petroleum, and as a result an Executive multisectoral commission was formed for remediation purposes, but communications have since been disrupted.

Deborah Rivett, Sunday, 30 September 2012

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