Target: Manuel Pulgar-Vidal Otárola, Peruvian Minister of the Environment
Goal: Hold PetroPeru accountable for the repeated damage to the environment and indigenous tribes caused by neglected oil leaks.
Oil pipelines through the Amazon rainforest have consistently led to environmental damage over the last several decades as pipes are laid as cheaply as possible to transport the oil to refineries and shipment facilities. Just a few months ago PetroPeru, the state-run oil company of Peru, contaminated water sources and damaged the fragile Amazon ecosystem with two devastating back-to-back spills. Three thousand barrels of oil were released into major Amazon River tributaries at the time.
Now, PetroPeru’s neglect for the environment has resulted in more oil being spewed into the environment and leaking into several of the Amazon’s many rivers and streams. This leak came from the same Northern Peruvian Pipeline responsible for the earlier leaks and damage, and coated approximately 16,000 square meters of the Amazon rainforest in crude oil to the obvious detriment of all life living there.
While PetroPeru claims to have shut off the pipeline following the incident, environmental watch groups report indications that hydrocarbons are continuing to be pumped through the damaged pipeline. Simple maintenance might have prevented the damage done to the environment and indigenous communities nearby, but would have resulted in less net profit for PetroPeru.
It is estimated that at least 430 people out of an indigenous community of about 725 are directly affected by this latest spill. If the crude oil reaches the nearby Barranca Caño stream, health risks will increase as the stream is the main source of drinking water for the community. Please sign the petition below to end the repeated damages to the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people living there.
Dear Minister Pulgar-Vidal Otárola,
The latest oil spill by PetroPeru stemming from the Northern Peruvian Pipeline demonstrates that once again the corporation does not do enough to protect the interests and health of the animals and people living in the Amazon rainforest.
Not only was crude oil released over 16,000 square meters of the rainforest, contaminating nearby water sources, this is not the first time such leaks have resulted in damage to the animals and communities nearby. In 2016 alone, the same pipeline had no less than two other crude oil leaks from the same pipeline, with a third being denied by PetroPeru.
This latest leak has affected no less than 400 Peruvians in the nearby community of over 700, which is at an even greater risk if the spill reaches their water supply. Clearly this company is not capable of continuing such extensive and risky operations as these major crude oil pipelines without damaging the fragile ecosystem and communities that surround them.
I am urging you to ensure that this corporation not be allowed to continue dealing such damage to the indigenous people and the delicate Amazon rainforest. Please take action to force PetroPeru to either increase its vigilance or cease operations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alessandro Currarino