(PetroPerú, 22.Dec.2018) — Given the statement of various indigenous organizations about the recent attack on Km. 193 of the North Peruvian Pipeline (ONP), PetroPerú states the following:
- PetroPerú carries out its operations under the premise that there are shared objectives between the communities and the industry, which is why it has been working on the construction of solid relationships and mutual respect. Based on this, it carries out “The Way We Want”, a strategy that seeks to establish a sincere and lasting friendship with the communities and populations neighboring its operations. In this framework, it has launched the Clearing and Early Warning System Plan to benefit the communities adjacent to the ONP with works to clean the right of way and surveillance through a rotating system, with gender quota, training and support to the formalization of communal enterprises and the communities themselves, among other benefits.
- PetroPerúrecognizes and gives thanks to the communities with which it has been implementing the Clearing and Early Warning System Plan for its organized participation, its commitment to the preservation of the environment and, above all, its willingness to work together. Thanks to this Plan, concrete steps have been taken to gradually contribute to improving the quality of life of the Amazonian peoples. In this regard, the Company expresses its will to gradually bring the benefits of this program to all the communities neighboring the ONP.
- Therefore, the Company is surprised by the content of a statement signed by indigenous organizations against recent PetroPerú interventions in the media to denounce, as is due, the serious environmental impact that is being experienced in the North Branch Pipeline (ORN) because of unscrupulous people who intentionally cut the pipeline, causing a spill with serious consequences for everyone. In this regard, the company clarifies that it has referred only to those who generated the cut that occured at Km. 193 of the ORN on November 27 and that to date the community of Mayuriaga is preventing from being repaired, despite the permanent will of PetroPerú to dialogue, the different sectors of the State and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. At no point has PetroPerú mentioned and much less blamed indigenous peoples or native communities in general.
- In this regard, we reiterate that the authors of this cut seized the Morona Station of the Pipeline, retained 20 workers for more than 3 days, signed an act where they threatened to break the pipe and days later they fulfilled their threat. The motivation, they said, was their disagreement with the results of the recent municipal elections in the Morona district.
- This is not a version of PetroPerú, since it was the very leaders who assumed the authorship of the cut of the pipeline. There is a declaration where they explicitly threaten to rupture the pipeline. Then, the news of the attack against the Pipeline was communicated through local media of Loreto. In addition, they were responsible for disseminating it through social networks, stating that it was part of their measure of struggle. They argued, initially, that the National Elections Jury did not annul the electoral results in the district of Morona, as they demanded, and later, they claimed alleged breaches of commitments.
- In this regard, the company reiterates that the case of the Mayuriaga leaders is a particular issue, since the cut took place due to interests completely unrelated to PetroPerú and the National Government. As can be seen, the cut had an electoral motivation of personal interests, which unfortunately are dragging an entire community.
- But the most serious thing is that since November 27, 25 days ago, the leaders of that community are preventing the repair of the pipeline. That is, they are causing serious environmental damage and use it as an instrument of pressure. First, demanding that local personnel be hired for environmental repair and remediation, a claim that openly violates the Company's practices and, subsequently, demanding compensation for the damages they themselves have caused.
- In this regard, we call on the indigenous organizations that have spoken out publicly in recent days and all those defenders of the environment and public health to intercede with the leaders of the Mayuriaga community and to allow the immediate repair of the pipeline.
- The company welcomes that the aforementioned indigenous organizations condemn the attacks against the ONP, which are effectively against life itself. It should be remembered that of a total of 109 incidents that occurred since the beginning of its operation in 1977, only 11 (10%) have been caused by technical reasons. The great majority were caused by third party damages (63%) or by natural phenomena (27%), facts that have been checked in a timely manner by the police authorities and the Public Ministry. The intentional cuts made to the ONP represent a serious risk to the health and the environment of the communities close to these incidents; in addition to considerable economic damage to the region, the industry and the country as a whole. That is why it is a priority to defend and protect the ONP.
- However, it is not enough to condemn the attacks against the communities, the environment and the country. We must join efforts to defend the ONP and repair the pipeline as soon as possible.
- PetroPerú is a national company committed to the development of the country and, specifically, of the Peruvian Amazon. It is the main contributor of the country in the hydrocarbons sector, without depending on the national budget. The ONP is part of this important contribution to the country, to which must be added the considerable contribution of the oil industry. Therefore, the ONP enables economic development with resources that go directly to the producing regions through the canon.
- In addition to this and the benefits of its “The Way we Want” strategy, PetroPerú carries out socially responsible actions to generate productive capacities -especially with indigenous women-, improve education and address the health of communities adjacent to the ONP. Additionally, it has assumed commitments with communities close to the incidents, as we have mentioned, in the great majority, caused by third parties. Commitments that have been fulfilled and others that are in the process of being executed.
- PETROPERU refuses to seek the “criminalization of social protest.” What the company has been stating in a transparent and emphatic manner is the damage to the infrastructure of the ONP and the Amazonian environment as a tool of pressure to obtain economic benefits. Those responsible for these events must be punished within the framework of the law. If impunity is allowed in the face of explicit attacks and recognized by their own authors, the cuts to the pipeline will increase, the delays for repair and remediation will increase in each case -as it happens today in Km. 193- and we will be fueling an environmental disaster of proportions in the Amazon.
- For this reason, we reiterate our invocation to indigenous organizations and the population in general to demonstrate against this perverse circle of attacking the ONP and then obtain economic benefits. Nothing justifies these serious attacks against the environment, the Amazonian communities and the development of our country.
- Finally, the company manifests its permanent willingness to dialogue with signatory organizations and communities in general in order to clarify any matter related to its operations.
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