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Pluspetrol reschedules dialogue with natives of Loreto

By Hillary Ojeda

Natives left oil wells to produce but stand close by to await negotiations.

Pluspetrol reschedules dialogue with natives of Loreto

A dialogue is postponed and a new protest arises. (Photo: El Comercio)

The dialogue between natives of Loreto and Pluspetrol oil company is postponed from today till Wednesday pending the health of the regional president.

Agreements to negotiate have been postponed till Wednesday between the native protesters and Pluspetrol after the regional president of Loreto, Fernando Meléndez Celis had been hospitalized.

Last week native protesters announced they would take over more oil wells by Friday if Pluspetrol would not agree to meet for negotiations. A meeting had been scheduled for today for the two parties to meet but as Celis is sick with pneumonia in Lima, they have been postponed till Wednesday.

The natives had prevented oil production for 14 wells and blocked the Tigre River causing a halt in production. The wells belong to Peru’s largest producing oil block, lot 1AB of Loreto of the Amazon. However, the pollution has left the surrounding environment thoroughly devastated and contaminated causing the natives to demand urgent compensation.

According to El Comercio, the natives are demanding compensation of S/. 10 million for the use of their land and to be granted access to multiple utilities.

The battle between Pluspetrol and natives doesn’t stop there.

Today in Pichanaki, a separate indefinite strike has begun in Junin where Lot 108 operates. Pluspetrol was given the lot in 2005 and was meant to produce an environmental report by 2013 but has yet to do so. In part, due to the natives and the need for dialogue among the two differing parties.

Pluspetrol had not provided any comment for this most recent strike since this article was published.

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