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Crisis averted for now, Peruvian natives will meet with Hunt Oil

Indigenous groups in a dispute with Hunt Oil, over the company performing seismic tests their land, have scheduled a meeting with the Texas based oil corporation, according to Reuters.

Prior to this, representatives of the indigenous group had said that they would defend “the protected area with their lives” and the groups were reportedly headed to the town if Salvacion to forcibly remove the company from the area in question known as Lot 76 or the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve.

“There is going to be a dialogue. We have to wait for the result of this meeting before we know about the removal,” Maria Gonzalez of FENAMAD (the Native Federation of the Madre de Dios) told Reuters.

Lot 76 is designated as a protected reserve for the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of headwaters vital to the tribes. The issue is currently in Peruvian court.

The President of Peru, Alan Garcia, is backing the oil company arguing that while the indigenous groups own the land, the government of Peru owns the subsurface rights.

The exploitation of oil reserves in the Peruvian Amazon has become particularly sensitive since a tragic incident in June. Protesting government’s plans to extract natural resources from the Amazon, indigenous groups and police clashed. During the ensuing violence, now known as Bagua, twenty-three police were killed and at least ten protestors according to official numbers. Indigenous groups, however, say that hundreds remain missing and have asked for a Truth Commission to investigate the incident.

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Amazonian natives say they will defend tribal lands from Hunt Oil with “their lives”

(10/25/2009) Indigenous natives in the Amazon are headed to the town of Salvacion in Peru with a plan to forcibly remove the Texas-based Hunt Oil company from their land as early as today. Peruvian police forces, numbering in the hundreds, are said to be waiting in the town. The crisis has risen over an area known as Lot 76, or the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. The 400,000 hectare reserve was created in 2002 to protect the flora and fauna of the area, as well as to safeguard watersheds of particular importance to indigenous groups in the region.

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