A thick dark stain spreads near the Piedra Negra ravine, a source of water for the Kichwa community of 12 de Octubre in Loreto. The Indigenous community members say that they do not need to see the stain to know that they are facing a new oil spill. All they need to do is smell the odor — which often gives them nausea and headaches — to know that the nightmare is back. On March 2 and March 17, 2022, the community complained of a familiar problem: again spills in the community, again in Block 192, and again worries about the risk it poses to the lives of people, animals, and plants. “This month, a well shattered because the pipes are old [and] corroded. The oil has spilled and is reaching the ravine, very close to the Tigris River; it is very dangerous. All the companies that have operated [there] have not been worried about maintenance,” says Hugo Carijano Tapuy, a former Kichwa leader and resident of the 12 de Octubre community. In this area of the Peruvian Amazon, oil is always present. In March alone, two spills were recorded in the community, a total of four spills this year, according to Tom Chung, the Indigenous monitor for the community. But two reports from Peru’s Environmental Evaluation and Enforcement Agency (OEFA) —one from 2020 and one from 2017— mention two additional events inside the same area. Carijano says that during the operations of Pluspetrol Norte, community members complained of the…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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