Thank you so much.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Aymara León. I'm part of the technical team of four indigenous organizations from the Peruvian Amazon area. As such, I'm also part of the subgroup of the National Coordinator for Human Rights regarding oil spills.
Today I will address the case of Frontera Energy, a Canadian oil company that has impacted the territory of several indigenous communities. With that purpose, I will use some of the information that has been collected as part of an investigation supported by Oxfam.
Last, I want to say that Aurelio Chino, one of the indigenous leaders whom I work with, was supposed to be here, but he's attending another very important meeting, so I apologize for his absence.
To begin with for some context, Frontera Energy is a Canadian oil company that operated a Peruvian lot from September 2015 until February 2020. This oil lot is located in the northern Peruvian Amazon area on the border with Ecuador. The lot overlaps with the territory of 25 indigenous communities that belong to the Achuar, Quechua and Kichwa nations.
What I want to focus on today is the environmental degradation that has been caused by Frontera Energy's operations. In these five years, Frontera Energy showed a general non-compliance with environmental regulations and sectoral regulations. They have constantly refused to give proper maintenance to the infrastructure of the lot, and they also have shown a lack of proper and fast response to the environmental emergencies that occurred in these past five years. As a result, we had more than 90 spills in oil lot 192.
This is an unbelievable record in our oil industry. Most of these spills were caused due to corrosion, that is, lack of maintenance, and also due to operational failures that could have been easily avoided if Frontera had complied with the environmental regulations.
This increase in oil spills has been, as I said, outrageous, and has doubled the average of the spills recorded in this same lot with the previous oil operator. If we look at the increase of corrosion spills, we can see that they increased 650% during the time that Frontera Energy operated the lot. It is important for us to mention that these spills do not occur in empty spaces in the Amazon region, but in the territory of these communities that are being impacted by them. In some cases, some communities have been impacted by almost 20 spills in the past five years, meaning that they have been highly exposed to pollutants such as hydrocarbons and heavy metals.
It is also important for you to know that the livelihoods of these indigenous communities depend heavily on the rivers, streams and lagoons and the forest, because they are dedicated to fishing and hunting activities. They depend on these lagoons for water, bathing, cooking and drinking. Their rights to health, to access water, to food and to access their livelihoods have been deeply affected by Frontera Energy's operation.
The current situation of their lot is that Frontera left without presenting and implementing an abandonment plan that aims to remediate all the environmental impacts that were caused during the operations of Frontera Energy. They have also left with several social commitments pending with the communities.
The indigenous organizations have taken several actions to try to stop these human rights violations, but they have not been able to do so. That is why indigenous organizations want the Canadian government to provide mechanisms to support their search for truth, justice and reparations for those affected by the Canadian companies. Indigenous organizations require neutral and independent entities that can surveil and investigate the human rights violations that have occurred in their territory. They want their voices to be heard directly and their testimonies and the evidence that they have of these impacts to be taken into account when conducting investigations.
Indigenous organizations currently do not feel that the CORE provides a fair and sufficient mechanism for them to report the violations that have occurred. We believe that the CORE should be strengthened and should incorporate intercultural principles for this to be a safe and useful space for those who have been affected by Canadian companies.
Furthermore, we believe the Canadian government should also develop other mechanisms or instances that not only investigate or sanction Canadian companies that violate human rights but also contribute to the reparation of such violations.
Finally, we believe there should be a full compliance of the Maastricht principles regarding extraterritorial obligations, for indigenous peoples to feel supported by the Canadian government in their search for reparations and justice.
That is my initial presentation. Thank you so much.