ERI to the Inter-American Commission: Amazon oil spills threaten lives and futures

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This week, ERI joined Peruvian indigenous organizations and other partner organizations in filing for precautionary measures with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, for the serious risk of violation to the right to life and specifically the rights of children because of the latest oil spills in the northern Amazon.

We asked the Commission to ensure that the Peruvian government responsibly carries out the environmental clean up of the spills, suspend oil operations until the pipeline in question has received proper maintenance, and provide health care and food and water supplies to the affected communities.

We also request the Peruvian government to urgently guarantee access of uncontaminated food and water for the affected communities, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines to guarantee that the products used for cleanup do not pose further risk to the health of people and the environment.

The Commission may issue precautionary measures when there is an urgent threat of irreparable harm to people, such as when their lives are in danger. In this case the threats are primarily to the indigenous communities affected by the oil spills and those who carried out cleanup efforts and are now reporting serious health problems, including children. The Peruvian Ministry of Health urgently needs to provide medical attention to individuals contaminated by the oil spill, prioritizing children and women.

The request was spearheaded by the National Coordinator for Human Rights, and a broad range of groups joined the request, including indigenous groups (the Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Northern Peruvian Amazon (ORPIAN-P) which represents 365 indigenous communities in the regions of Amazonas and Cajamarca; Peru´s national indigenous federation AIDESEP; the Cocama Association for Development and Conservation of the San Pablo Tipishca River Basin (ACODECOSPAT); the indigenous leader of Cuninico; the Wampis Territorial Government) as well as partner NGOs (the National Coordinator for Human Rights, the Legal Defense Institute, the Legal Defense Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development), and EarthRights International.

 

This post was written by Ximena Warnaars, former staff.

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