Indigenous organizations announce measures if Talisman oil company does not abandon Block 64

Talisman has only two weeks left to comply with the timeframe offered by the Indigenous communities of Datem of Marañon, Loreto department, for the company to start leaving their territory. If not, the communities will begin to decommission the company's boats and to expel company workers by force, as outlined in a public pronouncement issued yesterday.

According to the document signed by members of 34 Indigenous communities affiliated to the Shuar Organization of Morona (OSHDEM), the Shapra Federation of Morona (FESHAM), and the Indigenous Association of Morona (AIM), the presence of a new company would increase the level of pollution in the environment.

"We are warning that we will not permit any more oil activities in the zone, not even the navigation of oil company boats along the Morona River, because they frighten off the fish, turtles, and lizards, and they pollute the water. We don't want them to contaminate our forests, our rivers and our lands, because it is our natural market," states the pronouncement.

The document also makes reference to the fact that the 34 communities affiliated with OSHDEM, FESHAM and AIM reject the contract signed between the company Talisman and two Indigenous organizations that don't have anything to do with the zone in which the oil activities are planned. Through this pronouncement, the Indigenous people of the Shuar, Shapra, and Huambisa of the Morona river basin are addressing Peruvian President Alan Garcia Pérez in order to remind him that they are also Peruvians and that oil is not the only way to bring about development and that they prefer to live in a clean environment, free from pollution.

Additionally, they are saying to the President that they don't want the presence of police or military personnel within their territories because they feel that their struggle is democratic, just, and peaceful. "Not only that, we have also been defenders of our country and we want the country to help us solve this problem," details the document, in agreement with their countrymen who live in the Morona district, along the border with Ecuador.

Source: Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon – AIDESEP

(For original press release in Spanish, see: http://www.aidesep.org.pe/index.php?codnota=291)

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