Rivers turn black in oily Peruvian Amazon

Why are rivers turning black in the Amazon right now?

Water supply and delicate ecosystem contaminated by spate of oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon.

black river amazon peru oil spill, oil spill amazon, peru oil spill amazon, peru amazon oil spill, water resources polluted by oil spill in peruvian amazon, black waters in peruvian amazon
Marco Arana Zegarra @vozdelatierra

A disastrous spate of oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon have gone from bad to worse in recent days, leaving Indigenous tribes frantically trying to clean up the mess left by the nation’s state-owned oil company.

The catastrophic ruptures in Petroperu’s Northern Peruvian Pipeline occurred on January 25th and February 3rd and have threatened the water supply of nearly 10,000 indigenous people.

black river amazon peru oil spill, oil spill amazon, peru oil spill amazon, peru amazon oil spill, water resources polluted by oil spill in peruvian amazon, black waters in peruvian amazon
Marco Arana Zegarra @vozdelatierra

On Monday, Petroperu officials confirmed to Reuters that the oil has poured into two critical Amazon River tributaries that eight Achuar tribes depend on for water. These two tributaries of the Amazon River, the Chiriaco and Morona rivers, are now filled with 3,000 barrels of oil.

Critics charge that the spills continued to spread and caused far worse damage after the responsible company, Petroperu, failed to act to contain the oil released by the pipeline breakages.

black river amazon peru oil spill, oil spill amazon, peru oil spill amazon, peru amazon oil spill, water resources polluted by oil spill in peruvian amazon, black waters in peruvian amazon
Marco Arana Zegarra @vozdelatierra

A third pipeline rupture was rumored on February 19 but the state-owned petroleum company took to Twitter to deny those reports.

The devastating spills occurred mere months after Indigenous activists staged massive protests against Peru’s oil industry in September.

black river amazon peru oil spill, oil spill amazon, peru oil spill amazon, peru amazon oil spill, water resources polluted by oil spill in peruvian amazon, black waters in peruvian amazon
Marco Arana Zegarra @vozdelatierra

Waterways flow with black sludge and trees and flowers are rendered nearly unrecognizable by a thick coating of oil in video footage of the spills:

This environmental disaster is just the latest in a long history of oil and gas leaks in the area as more than 70% of the Peruvian Amazon has been leased by the government to oil companies.

And here another Facebook video in Spanish:

PERÚ, PAÍS PETROLERO

Por un lado, los candidatos hablan de progreso, TLCs y desarrollo.Al mismo tiempo, en la siempre olvidada selva peruana (qué casualidad, justamente en Bagua), hace días que los ríos están cubiertos de petróleo, cientos de personas están respirando y varios animales vienen muriendo por la contaminación ocasionada por un derrame de petróleo.La próxima vez que un candidato hable de lo importante del "desarrollo", piensa qué tipo de desarrollo queremos. ¿Queremos ser un país "más rico" o queremos ser un país sostenible? De esto también trata esta elección.COMPARTE.

Posted by Carlos Vilchez on Friday, February 19, 2016

And what’s most terrifying is that children seem to have cleaned up the oily mess…

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

SHARE