Oil Spills Contaminate Amazon Waterways

peru oil spill

One of the containment areas being used in an attempt to clean up the oil spill in Chiriaco – image Marco Arana Zegarra ‏@vozdelatierra

Peru – Three devastating oil spills have occurred in the Peruvian Amazon since January 25th spilling thousands of barrels of oil into Amazonian rivers.

The first rupture of the North Peruvian Pipeline occurred on Jan. 25 in the municipality of Imaza-Chiriaco, Amazonas region, where it’s estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 barrels of crude were spilled over the three days it took Petroperu to repair the pipeline.

The spilled oil affected the Inayo, Chiriaco and Marañon (an Amazon tributary) rivers and the Suashapea, Pakunt, Chiriaco, Nuevo Progreso, Nazareth and Nuevo Horizonte indigenous communities, Digesa’s resolution said.

The second spill occurred on Feb. 3 in Datem del Marañon province and resulted in oil reaching the Mayuriaga River and then the Morona River, a Marañon tributary of the Amazon rain forest.

The amount of oil spilled in that breach of the same pipeline remains unclear because Petroperu did not indicate the amount lost in the environmental emergency report it submitted to the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement, or OEFA.

News reports have claimed a third spill near Pucará, though the pipeline operator Petroperu has taken to Twitter to deny this.

A 90-day water quality emergency has been declared by Peru’s Ministery of Health in several districts in the north of the country, following the major oil pipeline spills.

The General Directorate of Environmental Health (Digesa) has declared emergencies in the Imaza district in the Amazonas region and in Morona, Manseriche, Barranca, Pastaza and Cahuapana, districts in Datem de Maranon province, part of the Loreto region.

Please take action today on behalf of the affected communities and the Amazon rainforest of Peru.


Workers wade through what once was a river full of life that is now an oil pit. image Marco Arana Zegarra ‏@vozdelatierra

Workers filling buckets - amozon oil spill - image Marco Arana Zegarra ‏@vozdelatierra

Workers filling buckets – image Marco Arana Zegarra ‏@vozdelatierra



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