International NGOs Unite Against Oil Giants

For Immediate Release

International NGOs Unite Against Oil Giants

WASHINGTON - Survival has sent a letter
signed by more than fifty leading NGOs to oil companies Perenco,
Repsol-YPF and ConocoPhillips to demand their immediate withdrawal from
an area inhabited by uncontacted tribes in Peru.

Amazon Watch and Save America’s Forests
join a global array of NGOs that have pledged their support to stop the
companies from working in oil blocks 39 and 67 in the northern Peruvian
Amazon.

Anthropological research has shown that the area is inhabited by at
least two uncontacted tribes, who lack immunity to diseases brought by
outsiders and who could face extinction if contact is made.

Despite strong opposition from Peru’s indigenous organizations, Anglo-French Perenco has applied to the Peruvian Energy Ministry to build a pipeline in block 67 that will cut across 207 kms of land and affect the rainforest for 500 meters on either side.

Meanwhile, Spanish-Argentine Repsol-YPF along with its US partner, ConocoPhillips, has applied to cut 454 kms of seismic lines and construct 152 heliports in block 39.

 ‘The companies involved are gravely endangering the lives not only of
the Indians, but also of their own workers,’ the letter says. Several
oil workers have reportedly been killed by uncontacted Indians in the
Yasuní National Park, which lies adjacent to block 39, just across the
border in Ecuador.

Uncontacted Indians
are thought to traverse the border between Peru and the Yasuní Park,
where a large reserve has been set aside for them by the Ecuadorian
government.

Other organizations that have signed the petition include America’s Rainforest Action Network, Germany’s Rettet den Regenwald, Spain’s Repsolmata and Peru’s CAOI.

Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘Operating
in this area demonstrates an utter disregard for some of the most
vulnerable people on the planet, who may feel forced to defend their
territory. If the companies have any sense, they will leave the area to its rightful owners before lives, and reputations, are ruined.’

To read this story online:

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/6680

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We work with hundreds of tribal communities and organizations. We are funded almost entirely by concerned members of the public and some foundations. We will not take national government money, because governments are the main violators of tribal peoples’ rights, nor will we take money from companies which might be abusing tribal peoples.

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