New oil spill in the Amazon
By Abbie Mood
Add another oil spill to the list. Last Sunday there was a pipeline rupture in Maple Energy’s Oil Block 31-E, which spilled crude oil into the Mashiria River, which is a primary source of drinking water and fishing ground for the indigenous Shipibo community of Nuevo Sucre.
This is Maple Energy’s 6th oil spill in oil blocks 31-B and 31-D in the Loreto region of Peru in the past two years.
But don’t worry – the local operator for the company hired 32 community members to clean up the mess. With rags and buckets, and without training or protective gear. Raúl Tuesta, head of the community of Nuevo Sucre, had this to say-
“No one has been able to give us an answer as to why Maple directed these men to work directly in the petroleum with bare hands, legs, and feet. We are very worried about what impacts this will have on their health.”
The local indigenous organization Federacion de Comunidades Nativas del Bajo Ucayali (FECONBU) is demanding that the cleanup workers get protective gear and fair compensation. They are also demanding that Maple Energy provide the community with humanitarian assistance including potable water, food, and medical assistance for hydrocarbon exposure.