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The spill would have occurred in a section of the North Peruvian Pipeline near the Cuninico stream, in the Urarinas district, in the Loreto region. Petroperú, the company responsible for the pipeline, reported on 7/3 on its website: “at 1:09 pm. on June 30, 2014 [Petroperú] learned, through a resident of the Cuninico community, (…) the presence of traces of crude oil ”. The official report does not specify the exact date or amount of the spill.
The same 3/7, the apu of the Cuninico community, Galoc Vásquez, informed us by telephone communication that “the entire area is affected, from the mouth of the stream, the pipeline [North Peruvian Pipeline], from there it is completely contaminated, double The crude". According to Aquiles Vásquez, Lieutenant Governor of the community, the spill occurred “about 12 to 10 days” ago; however, the population has been aware of it recently, in the presence of "dead fish, boas, and large oil slicks."
The press release issued by Petroperú reports that “contingency”, “mitigation and environmental remediation” actions have already begun. But the community members do not report the same.
The intervention in the area has consisted of the installation of "containment barriers"; however, according to the communal authorities, the force of the water this season makes this measure insufficient. "They are small spots", says Aquiles Vásquez, referring to the oil that is still visible in the waters of the ravine that go to the Marañón River. Impacts on environment, health and economy
According to the community authorities, the high level of contamination caused by the spill on the fish is already generating consequences, mainly on the health of children. “That July 3, two children with body allergies were evacuated to Maipuco, because there are no medications here. Vomiting in children, diarrhea and acute allergy have been registered days before, ”says apu Galoc Vásquez from the community.
The main source of water for the inhabitants of the area is the Cuninico stream. “You cannot drink the water, and the place is really terrible, there are many fish, it is a disaster, they are dead in the field. It is a pestilence, you cannot enter, ”says Lieutenant Governor Aquiles Vásquez.
The area in addition to the creek has several lagoons. "The season is coming when the fish have to leave through the drain, and what will become of those fish when they come due to contamination, what will also become of the community," expressed Galoc worried.
The communal authorities ask for food and water. “The most necessary is water for consumption. Food also, we are harmed because the fish are contaminated ", said the apu of the community. According to reports, so far Petroperú has brought 5 liters of water to each house in Cuninico.
A new misfortune in the Marañón
The area of the spill corresponds to a stream with many lagoons that supply fish to various communities in that part of the basin. "It is an area with a lot of fishing," says Father Miguel Ángel Cadenas, from the Santa Rita de Castilla Parish, in the Marañón basin. In addition, the father assures that the site of the spill coincides with an area known by the inhabitants as "varillal", which is a type of fragile forest with abundant biodiversity.
The apu Alfonso López of ACODECOSPAT also states, "we really want to know the magnitude, how many barrels of oil have been spilled, and what they are going to do, what are the measures that they are going to implement in the face of this new misfortune."
On July 1, the State authorities made a commitment to Alfonso López to keep him informed of the event, but so far there has been "no communication" according to the apu.
“There have been other spills. Some years ago there were other spills that have contaminated the Marañón River and this has remained in impunity and those responsible have never been punished, it is necessary to assume responsibility ”, Alfonso López specified.
Southern Petroleum Observatory