In Peru’s Amazon region, a group of indigenous protesters carried out an attack on two oil tankers. Utilizing gasoline bombs launched from canoes on the Amazon River, the attackers have managed to seize over a dozen workers as captives. The tankers belong to PetroTal, Peru’s largest oil producer based in Canada. One of the tankers was carrying approximately 40,000 barrels of crude oil, while the other was reportedly empty. These ships were en route from an oil field in Loreto to Brazil.
PetroTal has accused Aidecobap, an indigenous rights association, of orchestrating the attacks due to their opposition to recent changes in Peru’s oil funds. Blockades aimed at PetroTal on the Amazon River, particularly in the Puinahua Canal, have been ongoing since the 3rd of this month. Carlos Maldonado, the social management manager for PetroTal, claims that the group has taken one of the ships and forced it to dock in a place known as 7 de Julio.
This is not the first time PetroTal has faced attacks from various indigenous groups. These groups often demand greater benefits from oil exploitation while expressing concerns about potential oil spills that could contaminate the region. PetroTal claims that the Peruvian navy is prepared to monitor both the cargo ships and the well-being of the remaining captive personnel.
In an attempt to achieve a peaceful resolution, PetroTal has been invited to engage in discussions with the leaders of Aidecobap, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines.