A new chapter in the eternal struggle of the Amazonian communities to defend their ancestral lands against oil pollution has opened. In late January, members from the Achuar and Kichwa indigenous communities, from the Corrientes and Tigre rivers basins in the Peruvian Amazon, took the Jibarito base of the Pluspetrol company, paralyzing the production of 14 oil wells, equivalent to a loss of approximately 3,100 barrels per day.
Another protest arose in the Tigre River, where the communities blocked the river as another measure of their indefinite strike, which to date has been going on for more than 30 days. Eight boats were held up in the middle of this blockade. All of these protest actions demand that Pluspetrol pay environmental compensations for the use of land and water in their communities, among other complaints.
These confrontations are taking place ahead of Pluspetrol’s contract with the state for lot 192, at the Jibarito base, expiring in August this year. A prior consultation should take place with the communities before the lot goes up for bid again. Moreover, the issue of land titling, where the Peruvian government refuses to give titles for land with “forestry capability” or for land given to oil companies, adds another level of complexity to the negotiations.