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Peru: Pluspetrol in spotlight over Amazon rainforest pollution

Date: 27 Mar 2013

Oil exploration in the rainforest

Argentinian firm Pluspetrol is in the firing line after Peru declared an environmental state of emergency in the Amazon rainforest. High levels of barium, lead, chrome and other petroleum-related chemicals have been found. Pluspetrol has operated the oil fields nearby since 2001.

The company has been given 90 days to clean up to reduce the risk of harm to the local indigenous population. It is just the latest finding against it. In January Pluspetrol was fined $11m for failing to complete an environmental clean-up in Peru's Pacaya Samiria national park.

According to the Peruvian government, it first detected "unacceptable levels of lead and cadmium in the blood of Achuar children almost seven years ago". According to the weekly journal 'Hildebrand en sus Trece' Pluspetrol had 78 oil spills in the region from 2006-2010.

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