Amazon indigenous group blocks Morona River to protest drilling by Canadas Talisman Energy.
Indigenous Shuar from Peru´s northern Amazon blocked the
Morona River to block Canada´s Talisman Energy from exploratory oil drilling on
their native lands.
Indigenous leader Mamerto Maicua Pérez, told station
Radio la Voz de la Selva that the idea of the protest was for the company to
leave their lands and to "protect our rivers, jungle and Amazon family
from environmental, social and cultural impact and from the indiscriminate exploitation
of our resources."
Talisman has a concession to explore for oil in the
northern Loreto region in a block that cuts through the Achuar, Shapra, Shuar
and Kandoshi indigenous communities along with the Pastaza River Wetland
Complex, the Peruvian Amazon´s largest wetland complex and a Ramsar Site.
“Talisman must respect the decision of the indigenous
people living in and around Block 64 and halt oil exploration,” said Gregor
MacLennan, Peru Program Coordinator at environmental group Amazon Watch. “The
Shuar, together with the Achuar and other indigenous groups, are sending a
clear message that they do not want to risk contaminating important watersheds
and their ancestral hunting and fishing grounds by allowing oil development to
Talisman said it is willing to speak with the groups if
they end their protest. Some 500 indigenous participated, according to Peruvian
"We are willing to dialogue with minority groups who
are backing this initiative once the blockade is lifted,” it said in a