Indigenous protesters in Peru’s Amazon region recently attacked two oil tankers with gasoline bombs. This was apparently due to changes by the government to social oil funds. Canada-based PetroTal confirmed that a dozen crew members from both tankers, one of which contained 40,000 barrels of crude, were kidnapped by the attackers. PetroTal accused affiliated protesters from the indigenous association, Aidecobap, of blocking an Amazon tributary, preventing the passage of the two oil tankers. They attacked them from canoes using gasoline bombs.
PetroTal, which pumps about 43,000 barrels of crude daily, is one of Latin America’s smaller oil producers. The attack occurred on Tuesday at an Amazon tributary in the northwest Loreto region of Peru, with the oil originating from the country’s most productive field. The two vessels, one with a Brazilian flag, were travelling from PetroTal’s field in Loreto, which is sparsely populated and has experienced previous attacks from indigenous groups demanding more benefits from oil exploitation.
The company gives 2.5% of its profits to the nearby communities. Carlos Maldonado, PetroTal’s social management manager, said the protesters who boarded the tanker loaded with oil forced it to a town known as 7 de Julio, where it is currently being held. This attack highlights the ongoing disputes regarding oil exploitation in the Amazon. While it is essential for the nation’s economic progress, indigenous groups argue it threatens their ancestral lands and leading to environmental degradation.
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