June 07, 2007

No contact, no death

Peru:  Second Oil Company Blocked Over Uncontacted TribesThe Peruvian government has blocked oil exploration by US company Barrett Resources in the northern Amazon over concerns about uncontacted tribes living there.

Peru's Energy Ministry has rejected Barrett's environmental impact assessment (EIA) of plans to develop its oil discovery. One of the main reasons is that the EIA failed to take into account adequately the uncontacted tribes living in the area.
Why the halt is necessary:Recently the chairman of Perupetro, the state oil company, caused outrage by questioning the tribes' existence and then announcing plans to contact them. Because of their isolation, the tribes are extremely vulnerable to disease and any form of contact can be fatal.

Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'Good news, but of course it's only temporary. Now the Ministry needs to prohibit oil activity in areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes and companies should agree to keep out. International law recognises this land as the tribes', and so should Barrett and Repsol.'
Comment:  Too bad the Peruvian government didn't do this during the End of the Spear period. In fact, too bad no Euro-American government, including ours, ever took this approach with Native people. We could've prevented millions of people and thousands of cultures from dying.

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