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28/09/2011 | Latin America - Peru: Shuar protest oil exploration

Latinamerica Press

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 go ahead.”

Talisman said it is willing to speak with the groups if they end their protest. Some 500 indigenous participated, according to Peruvian media.

"We are willing to dialogue with minority groups who are backing this initiative once the blockade is lifted,” it said in a statement.

Latinamerica Press (Estados Unidos)


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