In March of 2013, after years of protests by the local indigenous population, the Peruvian government called a State of Environmental Emergency in the Pastaza region of the Peruvian Amazon due to severe levels of oil contamination from over 40 years of drilling in the area.
However, nearly 8 months later, the government has not visibly advanced with improving conditions for the people or environment on the Pastaza. While a recent ruling by Peru’s Agency for Environmental Evaluation and Control (OEFA) that fines the polluting company, Pluspetrol Norte, marks some action by the government, the fine is an administrative fee that is paid to the state, and may not ever be seen by the affected communities. Not to mention that Pluspetrol Norte plans to appeal the ruling, and years could pass before a final verdict is made.
Meanwhile, the local indigenous population continues with no access to safe drinking water, no evidence of effective soil remediation, no social services to address the effects on the residents, no semblance of compensation for the damage.
In this powerful video testimony, Aurelio Chino Dahua, leader of the long active Federation of Indigenous Quechua of the Pastaza expresses his frustration in the the aftermath of the latest fruitless meeting in Lima.
Thursday, 05 December 2013