Peru leaks: oil company rewrote environmental law

Leaked e-mails between the leaders of Peru's Energy & Mines Ministry (MEM) and Environment Ministry (MINAM) reveal that Australia's Karoon Energy International provided "technical support" in the proposed reform of the Hydrocarbon Regulation that would eliminate requirement for an environmental impact study before oil exploration. In one e-mail. MEM chief Eleodoro Mayorga was directly reproached by MINAM head Manuel Pulgar Vidal for bringing Karoon into the process. This was among some 3,500 messages hacked by Anonymous Perú from the account of ex-prime minister René Cornejo, dubbed by the press "Cornejoleaks." Karoon has operations at Bloc 238 in the northern coastal department of Tumbes. (La Republica, Panorama via Celendin Libre, Aug. 12; Peru21, Aug. 11)

  1. Peru: protest legal assault on land rights

    The controversial reform of Peru's environmental law appears to have been dropped after revelations of oil company involvement in drafting it, but July 2014 saw the passage of Law No. 30230, drawn up by the Ministry of Economy and Finance with the aim of encouraging foreign investment. Law 30230 establishes "special procedures" that allow for seizure of lands needed by development projects, abrogating (literally saneamiento or "sanitizing") pre-existing titles. The law applies to private lands, including predios (collectively held peasant plots), and state lands—including those set aside as protected areas for indigenous groups in the rainforest. Ana Leyva of Lima environmental group Cooperacción is calling for 30230's reppeal, charging that the measure "violates the land rights of indigenous communities." (Consultape, Jan. 14; Los Andes, Jan. 4; La Región, Iquitos, Oct. 18)