Perenco slammed for uncontacted tribes pipeline threat

A Cashinahua girl in south-east Peru. Nearby live members of the uncontacted Mastanahua tribe.
A Cashinahua girl in south-east Peru. Nearby live members of the uncontacted Mastanahua tribe.
© David Hill/Survival

Perenco has been slammed by a leading indigenous organisation for its plans to build a pipeline on uncontacted tribes’ land.

‘We condemn the plans of French oil company Perenco to build an oil pipeline more than 200 kms long in an area inhabited by uncontacted tribes,’ said AIDESEP, Peru’s national Amazon indigenous organisation.

‘Given the anthropological evidence for the existence of uncontacted tribes in this region, known as ‘Lot 67’, the government should suspend all activities there in order to protect them,’ AIDESEP’s statement continued. ‘It’s not only us that is insisting Perenco should halt its operations, but Peru’s Ombudsman too, which warned, in 2006, that the entrance of outsiders into this region could have disastrous consequences.’

AIDESEP pointed out that it is suing Perenco in a constitutional court in Peru for the company’s work in Lot 67.

Perenco’s plans were made public very recently on Peru’s Energy Ministry’s website. The company, chaired by one of the wealthiest men in France, Francois Perrodo, denies the tribes exist, despite the fact that a great deal of evidence for them has been collected.

According to Perenco, the pipeline would help transport an estimated 300 million barrels of oil from the remote Amazon to a terminal on Peru’s Pacific Coast. Government officials have expressed hopes that the oil, if exploited, will transform Peru’s economy.