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Indigenous protesters seize oil wells in Peruvian Amazon -chief

Indigenous protesters seize oil wells in Peruvian Amazon -chief
From Reuters - September 20, 2017

LIMA (Reuters) - Villagers in the Peruvian Amazon have shut down at least 50 oil wells operated by Frontera Energy Corp to protest talks over a new contract even as past pollution lingers, the leader of an indigenous federation said on Wednesday.

Some 600 members of native Achuar communities in the Corrientes River basin seized the wells on Monday along with an electric plant and oil tanks used by the Canadian company in Block 192, the countrys biggest oilfield, said Carlos Sandi, president of the Feconacor federation.

The latest protest in a region long plagued by complaints of oil pollution came after the center-right government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski declined to apply an indigenous rights law as it negotiates with Frontera.

The so-called prior consultation law, passed in 2011, requires the government to seek input from indigenous people before approving development plans that might affect them.

The growing indigenous anger threatens to disrupt Fronteras plans to keep operating in Peru after its two-year contract expires.

Frontera has been negotiating a long-term contract for Block 192 with state energy regulator Perupetro. Tribal leaders had warned they would forcibly halt oil operations there unless their demands were taken into account through prior consultation.

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