Take physic, pomp

Public consultations, Twobreakfasts style

Lot 116, North Peru

Another excellent report by Fowks over at Noticias Desde Lenovo today, concerning the way in which oil and gas companies ride roughshod over indigenous locals in the Amazon basin region and then everso everso innocently wonder why people reject their presence.

Go visit the report for more (and ask Fowks anything you like in English, she’s totally proficient in the language) but here’s basically how it works:

  • 1) After the border skirmish with Ecuador in the 1990s, the Peruvian government created a national park in the area and gave the jungle region rights of environmental protection, etc.
  • 2) In 2006, without any form of consultation, the Twobreakfasts admin quietly separated 853,000 hectares of the park and handed it over to O&G exploration company, Hocol Colombia, in turn a subsidiary of France’s Maurel & Prom.
  • 3) Maurel & Prom sold Hocol to Colombian quasi-state oil company Ecopetrol (EC) in March 2009.
  • 4) When enquiring about the sale of Hocol, locals are surprised to learn for the first time that lot 116 “belongs to Hocol” and isn’t part of the national reserve as everyone assumed.
  • 5) In Peru, all exploration activity in the extractive industries has to be approved by the people living in the area. Thus the regulatory “Citizen’s Participation” meeting was called and took place.
  • 6) As soon as the meeting began, the Ecopetrol Colombia representatives withdrew from the building. The microphone was then hogged by one person from Peru’s State Petro-Perú company (the very same company in the centre of recent high-level corruption scandals in the country) and the spokesperson for a small, unrepresentative indigenous group. These two people did not allow any of the other people present to speak or raise questions and then abruptly closed the meeting.
  • 7) A few days later, 87 local leaders who represent the 55 communities affected wrote to Twobreakfasts expressing their unanimous and total rejection of the presence of Hocol/Ecopetrol in the region.
You think Peru is a serious country? Still think there won’t be any further social problems in the Amazon basin? And when it all blows up again (and it will), this utterly corrupt and extremely unpopular government will be quick to paint the protests as “blocking progress” and the disenfranchised protestors as ignorant savages…again. And foreign press will prostrate themselves in front of these scumballs because that’s what they’ve been told to do by their controllers.

Viva investment grade. Viva, viva, viva.

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