Posts Tagged ‘indigenous groups’

Peru: Oil spill leaves 28 indigenous communities without water or food

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Brack guarantees sanctions and prosecutor warns of penalties of up to 20 years in prison

[Translation of an article from La Razón of Lima for June 23.]

Residents of 28 indigenous communities in the Parinari and Urarinas distrricts, in the province of Loreto, are without water and are prevented from fishing, their principal source of food, after waters of the Marañón River were contaminated by a spill of more than 400 barrels of petroleum, severely affecting the ecosystem of the region.

Residents of the area told local media that “everybody is desperate because they don’t know what is going to happen in the next few hours due to the lack of commitment by Pluspetrol and the authorities. Two children have already suffered stomach problems because they drank water from the river. We have managed to take pictures of contaminated fish, with their fins coated in oil.” (more…)

Water wars in Ecuador

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

[Translations of two articles from La Prensa of Riobamba, Ecuador, the first, from May 12, based on an Agence France Presse dispatch, the second, from May 13, by La Prensa staff.]

Water war continues in Ecuador
Indigenous demonstrators close Panamerican Highway North

Quito, May 12 – On Tuesday, indigenous people of the province of Imbabura again temporarily blocked the Panamerican highway North in protest of a bill on the management of water that they consider privatizes it.

Police re-opened the roadway without incident, according to authorities.

“We don’t believe what the government is saying,” declared Luis Quilumba, who claims  the bill will privatize water, a claim denied by the government, who in turn accuse the indigenous protestors of trying to depose leftist President Rafael Correa. (more…)

Brazilian President Lula: “If necessary, we will build Belo Monte solely with state money”

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

For the president, those opposed to the power plant are a “blackout industry”

[Translation of an article from Hora do Povo of Brazil for April 28, 2010, concerning controversial plans to build a hydroelectric plant in the Amazonian region of Pará state. The project, supported by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is being opposed by environmentalists, indigenous groups and by José Serra, until recently governor of São Paulo state and now presidential candidate for the center-right Social Democratic Party.  Serra’s opposition is likely more a case of campaign opportunism than concern for the environment or for indigenous rights.  See also “Equivocations of a ‘people’s’ govnernment” below.]

On Monday, April 26, during his weekly radio program “Café com Presidente,” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva responded to criticism from tucano [Social Democratic Party] candidate José Serra of construction of a hydroelectric plant at Belo Monte, in Pará state. For the president, opponents of the project are the same people who are “manipulating for another blackout in the country.” He said the plant will be the third largest hydroelectric plant in the world. “There will always be those who don’t want us to act because they hope for a national disaster so they can find somebody to blame,” Lula charged. “There were five years of study before authorization could be obtained. Now, at last, the project will be built,” the president declared. (more…)