In Peru, at least three indigenous peoples have died in a coroner-related clash. According to the country’s administration, about 70 indigenous members attacked an oil company camp deep in the Peruvian Amazon over the weekend to stop work at a local oil well.
The attack led to a police raid, which injured 11 indigenous peoples and six police officers, according to the country's interior minister, Jorge Montoya. He also said three indigenous members had lost their lives in the clash. According to previous data, two people had died in the clash.
The state administration reported the attack on Sunday in local time. According to Montoya, a government delegation has been sent to the area to calm the situation.
According to the indigenous umbrella organization, the attack was linked to the corona pandemic and also targeted the Peruvian regime. Indigenous peoples feel that the country’s government has neglected indigenous peoples in the midst of a coronavirus crisis.
The attack, which took place at midnight on Saturday and Sunday, sought to suspend work on an oil well that, according to indigenous people frustrated by the oil spills, had contaminated their lands.
The oil well, located in the remote village of Brittany in the Loreto region, is operated by Canadian-owned PetroTal. The company said it would suspend work at source after the clash. The oil company has about a hundred employees on site.
PetroTal had stopped work in Brittany in early May due to the Peruvian government’s Ministry of Health corona instructions. The company said in a press release issued late last month that it would continue to operate in the region in mid-July.
Indigenous peoples neglected in coronation operations
According to ORPIO, the umbrella organization for indigenous peoples living in the Amazon in Peru, the attack was targeted not only at the oil company but also at the country’s administration. According to the organization, the attack was related to a corona pandemic.
According to ORPIO, the underlying view was that the neighbors of the indigenous population had been neglected and rejected during the pandemic due to a lack of medicines and treatment.
- Our indigenous brothers did not have firearms. They only carried spears as a means of defense inherited from their ancestors, ORPIO says in a statement.
- They wanted to take over the oil camp, the press release continued.
There are differing views on the onset of violence. According to the Peruvian Ministry of Interior, the people who attacked the camp would have had shotguns in addition to spears. The ministry also says the clash began after indigenous members opened fire and wounded police. According to ORPIO, the police had fired first and some of the cops had also fired at each other in the midst of chaos at night.
According to the government, there had also been a prosecutor with the police who had been against the attack by indigenous peoples.
The corona pandemic has ravaged the Loreto area
The corona pandemic has severely punished indigenous peoples living in poverty in the Peruvian Amazon. The Loreto region is one of the largest and least populated areas in Peru. It is also one of the worst-crowned areas in the country.
Authorities estimate that in the city of Iquitos in the Loreto region, for example, a total of seven in ten people have been infected with the coronavirus. In May, the city’s morgue was full to the brim and hospitals were in desperate need of more oxygen cylinders.
There are very few roads in the Amazon and the area is mainly used along rivers. The government has therefore had to transport medical supplies by air.
According to a follow-up by Johns Hopkins University, a total of more than 471,000 coronary infections have been confirmed in Peru. More than 20,000 corona-related deaths have been recorded in the country. In Latin America, only Mexico and Brazil have more corona deaths. According to the statistical website Worldometer, 14,265 infections and 631 coronary deaths have been confirmed per million inhabitants in Peru.
The number of corona deaths relative to population is higher in Peru than, for example, in Brazil and the United States, which have the highest number of corona infections and corona deaths in the world. Sweden, Britain, Spain and Italy, among others, have also recorded more coronary deaths per million people than the United States or Brazil.
Only Britain and Belgium, as well as the mini-states of Andorra and San Marino, have more corona deaths in relation to population.