Peru: protesters seize Camisea pipeline valves, pledge to resist army

Indigenous protesters June 1 seized two valves on the pipeline that moves natural gas from Peru’s Camisea field in the Amazon rainforest to the Pacific coast—the lastest escalation in a campaign across the region to force the government to resist new laws that would ease corporate access to natural resources on indigenous lands. Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP), a consortium of energy firms that includes Argentina’s Pluspetrol and US-based Hunt Oil, said about 50 protesters took control of the valves over the weekend. The operators said flows have not yet been affected. (Reuters, June 1)

The head of the Peruvian National Police (PNP) for the Cusco region, Gen. Octavio Founmet, announced that his forces are preparing to forcibly remove the protesters. The PNP’s National Directorate of Special Operations (DINOES), backed up by army troops, is being mobilized to the scene, in Cusco’s lowland Echarate district. Oswaldo Tunqui, president of the Machiguenga Council of the Río Urubamba (COMARU), said the protesters are prepared to resist “to the death.” (La Republica, Lima, Coordinadora Nacional de Radio-CNR, Peru, June 2)

See our last posts on Peru and the struggle for the Amazon

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