Local residents in a far Amazonian region in Peru have illegally seized a small oil installation that is being managed and operated by a Canadian energy company called PetroTal Corporation. It was later learned that the residents have demanded electrical and other government basic services in exchange for the peaceful stoppage of their protest.
The incident is one of several protests that had happened in the country particularly the oil and mining industry in recent months. The string of protests has triggered calls for the administration of President Martin Vizcarra to take necessary actions to prevent this kind of incidents from happening again. Several economists in the country have viewed the incidents as a risk to the oil and mining industry.
Around 70 local residents living in a village called Brena, which is located in the Amazon region of Loreto, stormed inside the PetroTal’s Block 95 on Sunday. The protests cause stoppage of production as the residents seized control of the installation facilities, a statement made by the Peruvian Society of Hydrocarbons (SPH). Even though the country’s chief negotiator and the representatives of PetroTal were not available to update on the situation, the SPH has assured that the company is willing to negotiate and talk to the affected residents. The group also added that PetroTal Corporation has already offered to give an electric generator to the affected communities.
This latest incident was another setback to the Viscarra administration as the government had been facing difficulty in ending a road blockade made by the native community in Andes a few months back that resulted to the stoppage of copper export in the country. Peru, a major mineral exporter in the world but relatively a small player in oil export has been facing non-stop conflicts in places where international companies run their operation together with poor communities that have not received or lack the basic services provided by the government.