The Transformation of Pluspetrol’s Oil-slicked Reality into an Award-winning Fallacy

Argentinian-based oil company, Pluspetrol, long-time contaminator and human rights violator, won the “2013 Sustainable Development Award” from its industry associates at the National Society of Mining, Oil, and Energy (SNMPE). Years of oil contamination and exploitation, millions of barrels of dumped effluent, widespread illness, and four environmental emergencies later, this circus of denial is unconscionable. The industry pat on the back is both unreflective of and insulting to the realities faced by people in the wake of Pluspetrol’s activities in the Tigre, Pastaza, Corrientes, and Marañon Rivers.

Oil Spill in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Alianza Arkana, based on the work and struggle of indigenous federations ACODECOSPAT, FEDIQUEP, and their united platform, PUINAMUDT, has dug past the surface to expose Pluspetrol’s spurious rhetoric on their practices and community relations. The publication, entitled “The Misleading Art of Commercial Deception: How to Transform a Major Polluter into an Environmentally Sustainable and Socially-Responsible Company” lays out the degree to which Pluspetrol’s PR team has manipulated the truth. They paint a picture of a benevolent employer and neighbor being wrongfully charged of making messes that were created by companies before their time. The reality looks very different:

Child with Rash from Contamination

  • People living along the Pastaza, Corrientes, Tigre, and Marañon Rivers have zero access to clean, uncontaminated water or safe food.
  • Most pipelines transporting hot, pressurized oil are rusty and haven’t been replaced since they were installed over 40 years ago. Pluspetrol sites “vandalism” as the reason for pipe leaks.
  • Plusepetrol hasn’t complied with legal environmental management measures for remediation or toxic waste disposal and has been fined over $7 million. Pluspetrol still denies any connection to contamination.

The indigenous federations of the effected rivers, ACODECOSPAT and FEDIQUEP, are now in a position of “permanent mobilization”, taking an unyielding stance to demand that state action be taken in wake of these environmental emergencies. They are asking for access to clean water and sanitation, remediation for land and river
s, and financial compensation for damages that will take generations to undo.pluspetrol_cover_pic_resized

Help our indigenous partners break the oppressive cycle of silence and expose the government inaction towards corporate irresponsibility. Share this with your friends and colleagues.

Click here to read the full publication. 

Deborah Rivett, Monday, 12 May 2014

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