Oil On Their Hands

Oil spills in the Amazon by Dutch PlusPetrol leave indigenous communities contaminated

For almost half a century, indigenous peoples of the Quechua, Achuar, and Kichwa ethnic groups have suffered extremely negative environmental, health, cultural, social, and economic impacts as a result of the operations of the oil companies, Occidental Petroleum (1971-2000) and subsequently Pluspetrol (2000-2015).

These oil pipes in the Peruvian Amazon, have collapsed and degraded, leaking oil and heavy metals into the land. There are more than 1,963 contamination sites. Communities are now not only fighting to protect the earth but also their health as hundreds are sick from contaminated water and food. 

In 2020, indigenous leaders take their complaint to the Netherlands, where PlusPetrol transferred its headquarters to the Netherlands in 2000. Research into its corporate structure suggests it did so to support its broader effort to avoid paying taxes in the countries where it operates. 

Pluspetrol has failed to undertake adequate environmental and human rights due diligence. The complaint presented to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in March 2020 alleges that Pluspetrol has also failed to respect several human and indigenous rights of the local population related to land, self-determination, and water and food. “We have come to the Netherlands seeking justice,” said Aurelio Chino, president of FEDIQUEP…We hope that the OECD and the Dutch government can convince Pluspetrol to take responsibility for the terrible harm the oil industry has done to our peoples.”

This is their story.

Source: If Not Us Then Who

Related to SDG 13: Climate action, SDG 7: Clean and renewable energy and SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

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