|Peru: Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Call For Action Against Oil Companies|
|Written by Pepe Mejía, Translation by Natasha da Silva|
|Wednesday, 01 February 2012 13:26|
The indigenous peoples of the Amazon are suffering from the abusive and polluting presence of oil companies.The Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO in Spanish) has called for collective action in the Peruvian city of Iquitos on February 1st.In an official statement, ORPIO condemns the situation of "our comrades that are suffering the negative effects of mining on the Coast and in the Andes. After 40 years of extraction, the oil companies have damaged our fish, our streams, our lagoons, our land and the water that gives us life. The basins of the Corrientes, and the rivers Tigre, Pastaza, Chambira and Marañon are all currently suffering from the effects of oil exploitation. The consequences of these operations are deplorable and fill us with rightful indignation."
The indigenous peoples of Amazonas in Brazil have warned "We alert the people of Iquitos to the fact that the water from the Nanay basin which supplies their city, is seriously endangered by the oil extraction activities that are about to commence. As indigenous people having lived through this scourge, we declare that we will stand by them in defending their rights. Water is not a commodity. Water is a right!"
The indigenous peoples of Amazonas are making a firm stand against the Humala government, which recently sold off Peru to representatives of large multinational mining companies at the Gran Casino in Madrid. "
Like the majority of Peruvians fighting for political change, we feel deeply disappointed and offended by the Ollanta Humala government. Instead of keeping their promise of defending Peruvian people's rights to water and life, this hardline government is repressing and threatening the ones that exercise the right to defend water as a human entitlement, and the right to decide what happens to our lands."
Before calling for "permanent" action, ORPIO expresses solidarity and support for the people of Cajamarca struggling in the defence of water, life and indigenous rights against the Conga mining project. ORPIO considers the action of February 1st a preliminary to larger demonstrations that will join together between 9 and February 10 under the slogan "Water's not for vending. Water's for defending. No more Conga. No more oil extraction in Iquitos."