Peru: indigenous protesters occupy gas fields

Indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon are demanding the presence of Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo in peace talks the government has brokered following days of angry protests. Marcial Mudarra, subdirector of the Regional Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples (CORPI), is representing the communities in talks with Peru’s General Directorate of Original and Afro-Peruvian Peoples. (AIDESEP, Aug. 15) EFE reports that Pluspetrol suspended part of its operations at Bloc 56 of the Camisea natural-gas fields after armed protesters seized the facilities in the Amazonian region of Cuzco Aug. 9. Protesters oppose the government’s new polcies promoting oil exploration on indigenous lands. On Aug. 16, the Amazonian indigenous coalition AIDESEP announced that talks had broken down and the occupation would continue, EFE reported. (EFE, Aug. 16; Bloomberg, Reuters, Aug. 12; EFE, Aug. 11)

Some 4,000 protesters—many wearing face paint, and mostly armed with spears and machetes—also seized Substation No. 6 on the Northeast Peruvian Oilduct at Imaza, Amazonas region, and captured some 20 members of the National Police force’s elite Special Operations Directorate (DIROES) dispatched fro Lima to break up the occupation. (La Republica, Lima, Aug. 17)

See our last post on Peru and the struggle for the Amazon.