Victory! Canadian oil company pulls out of Matsés territory

The Matsés have strongly opposed any oil exploration on their land
The Matsés have strongly opposed any oil exploration on their land
© Survival International

A Canadian oil company has pulled out of the territory of an Amazon tribe in Peru. In July 2016, Pacific E&P cancelled its contract to explore for oil, in the face of stiff opposition from the Matsés Indians.

The Matsés’ resistance has prevented the oil company from starting its first phase of oil exploration.

Oil exploration is devastating for tribal peoples. The process uses thousands of underground explosions along hundreds of tracks cut into the forest to determine the location of oil deposits.

The explosions scare away animals, leaving little food to hunt, and the whole process causes enormous disruption.

A Matsés woman said, “Oil will destroy the place where our rivers are born. What will happen to the fish? What will the animals drink?’

The Indians are now campaigning for the oil concession to be cancelled, and to stop the Peruvian authorities awarding a new contract to a different oil company.

Pacific E&P still plans to press ahead with exploration nearby in an area where uncontacted Matsés Indians are known to live.

All uncontacted tribal peoples face catastrophe unless their land is protected. Whole populations are being wiped out by genocidal violence from outsiders who steal their land and resources, and by diseases like flu and measles to which they have no resistance.

Any oil exploration will devastate the tribe and Survival is campaigning to stop it.