MILAN (ITALY) – International non-governmental organizations will be meeting with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President, Enrique Iglesias this Saturday, March 22, in Milan, Italy during the Bank’s Summit. They will inform him of violations of Peruvian, U.S. and international law surrounding the Camisea gas project. Peruvian indigenous leaders intended to meet with Iglesias themselves, however they were denied travel visas by the Italian Embassy in Peru.
The meeting comes after the release a few weeks ago of a memorandum documenting an alarming increase in deaths in the project area. The signatories contend that, in violation of international law (International Labor Organization Convention 169), the project sponsors are forcing contact with isolated and uncontacted indigenous peoples, and that this contact is likely resulting in the spread of contagious diseases for which they have no immunity. In addition, the Camisea Consortium has received fines for violation of Peruvian environmental law which they refuse to pay, and the project violates US Foreign Assistance Act laws for proper environmental review of projects funded by multilateral development banks including the IDB.
The Camisea gas project is a US$1.5 billion gas extraction, transportation, distribution and export project located in the Peruvian Amazon. Three of the extraction sites are inside a legally recognized indigenous reserve, and the pipeline cuts through one of the pristine tropical rainforests of the Urubamba Basin, one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. Export facilities will be built in Paracas Reserve on the coast, an area recognized by The Nature Conservancy as Peru’s most fragile marine ecosystem.
International environmental and human rights groups have been urging the IDB not to finance the project. They are concerned that public funds will be used to finance environmental destruction and violations of indigenous rights.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT IN ITALY:
Jon Sohn, Friends of the Earth, Nadia Martinez, SEEN, Janet Lloyd, Amazon Watch on mobile number :+39-348-2714932 (March 21 and 22 only)