Judge says yes to drilling on uncontacted tribes' land

A Peruvian judge has ruled that two European oil companies can explore in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon inhabited by uncontacted Indians.

A court case was filed by Peru’s national Amazon Indian organisation, AIDESEP, asking the judge to bar the two companies, `<a href="/about/perenco">Perenco</a> and <a href="/about/repsol">Repsol-YPF</a>, from entering the Indians’ territories.

But the judge has ruled in the companies’ favour, saying that there is not sufficient proof of the uncontacted Indians’ existence. He has also ruled that the threats posed by the companies have not been shown to endanger the Indians’ fundamental rights.

Both companies have signed contracts to work in the northern Peruvian Amazon, near the border with Ecuador. At least two uncontacted tribes live in the area.