On Wednesday 11 March, a delegation of indigenous leaders from Peru is filing a complaint against PlusPetrol with the National Contact Point for OECD guidelines in the Netherlands. PlusPetrol, originally an Argentinian oil company, has its headquarters in Amsterdam through a letterbox company.
According to the petitioners, the oil company is guilty of serious environmental pollution and violations of the rights of indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. The complaint also accuses Pluspetrol of acting contrary to OECD requirements on taxation and transparency because their Dutch office has set up fiscal constructions to avoid taxes.
We’ve come to the Netherlands to seek justice.
According to the indigenous Achuar, Kichwa and Quechua communities, oil extraction by PlusPetrol has led to large-scale pollution of their habitat in the rainforest of Peru. For 15 years, PlusPetrol has contaminated nearly 2000 different locations in the Amazon with toxic waste water and oil spills. PlusPetrol’s concession in the area ended in 2015, but the oil company refuses to clean up its pollution and compensate the local population.
“We’ve come to the Netherlands to seek justice,” says Aurelio Chino, president of the indigenous organization FEDIQUEP. “When we finally had the courage in Peru to protest against the pollution of our rivers, land, fish and animals, we were called terrorists. We hope that we are treated here as people and that PlusPetrol can be convinced to take responsibility for the terrible damage it has caused.”
The pollution is associated with serious health problems in the nearby communities, such as high levels of cadmium and other heavy metals in blood, miscarriages, diarrhea and skin diseases. After 15 years of drilling for oil, PlusPetrol must clean up its mess. For years, the health of local people has been at risk, and their land rights are being ignored. PlusPetrol must take their human rights seriously and act.
The Peruvian delegation is speaking to Dutch MPs on Wednesday, March 11 at Nieuwspoort in The Hague. Journalists are very welcome.
On Thursday, March 12 at 18.30, there is a public debate in the Humanity House in The Hague with the delegation from Peru.
The Indigenous delegation is united in the PUINADMUDT Platform, one of the partners in our All Eyes on the Amazon program. In this program we support Indigenous peoples and local communities in their fight for rights and protection of the Amazon rainforest.