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Peruvian indigenous groups block river in Amazon after oil spill

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The government said in a statement that communities were blocking the great Rio Maranhão, a major tributary of the Amazon (Image: Mario Oliveira/MTUR)

Peruvian indigenous groups blocked a major river in the country’s Amazon region on Wednesday in protest over a crude oil spill of about 2,500 barrels in the planet’s largest rainforest, the government said.

The spill took place on September 16 and affected several indigenous communities in the Loreto region of northeastern Peru. although the Ministry of the Environment of Peru estimated the spill at 2,500 barrels, state-owned Petroperu said it did not yet have an estimate.

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Petroperu said in a statement that the spill was the result of “intentional” damage to a pipeline operated by Petroperu. company. The pipeline transports crude oil from amazon to the coastal desert region of Peru to be refined.

The pipeline has been the site of several oil spills in recent years.

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The government said in a statement that communities are blocking the large Rio Maranhão, a major tributary of the Amazon, which prevents authorities from collecting water samples and distributing medicines to affected indigenous communities.

Reuters was unable to reach a community representative for comment.

The Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world and its preservation is considered essential by scientists to avoid catastrophic climate change. Peru has the second largest section of the Amazon after Brazil.

Although Peru is a small oil producer, producing only 40,000 barrels a day, its oil fields are concentrated in the Amazon.

The incident is at least the second major oil spill to occur in Peru this year, after Spanish oil company Repsol SA spilled more than 10,000 barrels into the Pacific Ocean in January from a tanker that was offloading at a company refinery near the capital Lima.

The spill is also the eleventh to occur so far this year in the Amazon, Petroperu said, but the first to flow directly into a river.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo’s government has said it wants Petroperu to increase production, especially at its inactive Lote 192, the country’s largest oil field, located deep in the Amazon.

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Source: Moneytimes

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