Oxy given ultimatum by Amazon leaders

Indigenous communities from the Peruvian Amazon told Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) to clean up its toxic waste from their tropical rainforest or face a major lawsuit. The ultimatum, on the eve of the Westwood-based oil major’s annual general meeting for shareholders, came as a new technical report revealed that 30 years of Oxy’s polluting had left indigenous Achuar children with illegal concentrations of lead and cadmium in their blood, at levels known to cause permanent developmental problems. Compiled by EarthRights International, Amazon Watch, and Peruvian legal non-profit Racimos de Ungurahui, the report also provides a legal analysis showing how Oxy’s cost-cutting and deliberate use of sub-standard technology exposes it to civil demands from the Achuar, both in Peru and the US. The shareholder meeting, scheduled for 4 May, will be attended by two Achuar leaders, who hold proxy shareholder rights, spiritual elder Tomas Maynas Carijano and Andrés Sandi Mucushua, President of the Federation of Native Communities of the Corrientes River, the principal Peruvian federation that represents the Achuar. In total, Oxy dumped nine billion barrels of untreated “formation waters”, a by-product of the oil drilling process containing a variety of toxins and carcinogens, directly into the Achuar’s pristine tropical rainforest territories.
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