Devastating Oil Spill in the Peruvian Amazon

24th of June 2016: According to a press release of the WWF (Lima/Berlin, ) about 600 barrell (almost 100.000 liter) of crude oil would have been leaked out of a dilapidated pipeline which was not ovehauled for 40 years. The oil spill would soon reach the river Marañon after having escaped from the broken pipeline in the northwest of the country in the province of Datem. The company had tried to use the pipeline in spite of a legal ban.

Since the thousands of barrels of oil have been spilled by three leaks in the Peruvian Amazon. In the mean time state of emergency has been declared for 6 districts. Among the most affected districts are the district of Chiriaco and Morona. Petroperú the combine responsible for the oil spills has denied the leaks for days. Finally it has started to state higher and higher amounts of spilled oil. As a consequence relief units have arrived no more recently as several days late on site.

This even though the river was already covered by a thick, poisonous and malodorous crude oil film which has bereaved the inhabitants of their only source of drinking water and food. In the meantime the ground water has also been contaminated. Some inhabitants are said to have fallen ill after eating oil-polluted fish. The government under President Ollanta Humala has declared state of emergency 3 weeks late and not even included the community of Mayuriaga in the district of Morona at that time. Fish, crocodiles and plants have perished since long, the cocoa plantations are destroyed.

However things should even get worse: Petroperú, the combine responsible for the disaster, which does not even participate in the decontamination has offered the inhabitants 10 Soles (about 2,50€) for every collected bucket of crude oil which is quite a lot of money for the locals. According to scandalizing pictures even children have tried to collect the oil with bare hands without any protective clothing; many of them will have to suffer from remaining harm. The relief units of the Peruvian government have not arrived and started to clean the oil spill before several days had passed by.

Germán Vásquez the president of Petroperú denies any responsibility: One of the piplines would have been hit by a lightning, another one by a landslide. The environment minister of Peru on the other hand says that the required maintenance work on the piplines would not have been carried out. It would have been necessary to replace the pipelines 35 years ago. In the past 5 years 20 such accidents would have happened. A fine in the amount of 17 Million Euro which has been issued by the Peruvian government will not even suffice to decontaminate and restore the harm caused to flora and fauna.

Please ask the Peruvian prime minister Pedro Cateriano to help the affected people (more than 8,000) with fresh water, alimentation and health services and donate to the “Peru Amazon Oil Disaster Relief Fund” as the funds provided by the government will hardly suffice. Petition and Donation Campaign