Aug 17th, 2008
Peru’s state-run oil company Petroperu was forced to shut down a major oil pipeline in the country’s north on Thursday, August 14, due to an ongoing occupation by indigenous protesters angered over new laws encouraging more infrastructure development in the Amazon.
The 500-person protest began on August 11, coinciding with the occupation of a gas field, hydroelectric dam and oil infrastructure in southern Peru.
When operating, the Norperuano pipeline moves 27,000 barrels of oil a day.
The ongoing protests were sparked by opposition to a recently signed Free Trade Agreement with the United States and a number of draft laws in the legislature, all of which would escalate commercial exploitation of indigenous territories. The protesters continue to demand the restoration of their inalienable collective rights over their land. The government insists it will not negotiate until the protests end.