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09/04/2003 | IDB Admits Pipeline Project Is in Trouble

Martin Edwin Andersen

 

Faced with growing international pressure over plans to finance a Peruvian natural-gas project, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Enrique Iglesias says the multilateral institution is having second thoughts about financing the controversial initiative. In a meeting with nongovernment organizations during the IDB's annual meeting in Milan, Italy, in late March, Iglesias and others acknowledged that plans to build a pipeline through the Amazon basin in one of the world's most pristine tropical rain forests risks exposing Indian tribes living there to fatal diseases to which they have no immunity, as well as destroying rare natural habitats. Iglesias pledged to meet soon with representatives of Peruvian Indian organizations to talk about their concerns

The publicly financed Camisea project would cost an estimated $1.5 billion and include a pipeline to carry the gas from one of the most remote areas of Peru to the coast. According to several participants at the meeting, IDB Vice President Dennis Flannery, the bank's highest-ranking American official, stated: "The IDB does not want to repeat the past sins of our brothers at the World Bank with the Chad-Cameroon pipeline," a reference to the failed implementation of environmental safeguards at the Exxon Mobil pipeline in West Africa.

Martin Edwin Andersen is a reporter for Insight. Readers can reach him with tips on governmental waste, fraud and abuse of power at InsightWatchers@AOL.com.

Insight Magazine (Estados Unidos)

 


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