A project which threatens the lives of uncontacted Indians in a reserve set aside for them in the Amazon is generating organised protests in the UK and USA. Essentially an expansion of the already massive and controversial gas exploitation project in the Rio Camisea basin, this new proposal lies in the heart of the Nahua-Nanti Reserve that was created to protect the land and lives of uncontacted Indians and is the buffer zone to the Manu National Park, considered by UNESCO to be ‘the most biodiverse place on earth’.
The next stage for the companies is to carry out seismic tests in the once protected but now threatened rainforest and to drill more than twenty exploratory wells. Camisea is already Peru’s largest gas project, and is run by Argentina’s Pluspetrol, US’s Hunt Oil and Spain’s Repsol. Based on all previous experience, the work involved would have a devastating impact on the local inhabitants and their environment.
Apart from the risks of diseases from first contact, the gas work also threatens to destroy the forest and scare away the game on which the uncontacted Indians depend for survival.
Protests are being organized for outside Peruvian embassies and consulates around the world on April 23rd to call for an end to the Camisea proposed expansion. Protesters plan to carry placards and gas masks symbolizing the lethal effects of the Camisea project on isolated and autonomous tribes living in the area. A petition will be handed to Peruvian embassies and consulates in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Madrid and Paris asking Peru’s President to stop outsiders and companies from invading uncontacted tribes’ land, and has been signed by over 120,000 people from around the world.