By: Ariane Cracolice

We can all agree that oil spills are extremely frustrating. From the Atlantic Empress and the Gulf War spills, to the Deepwater Horizon and the M/V Prestige spills. Media outlets especially like to take these opportunities to grab viewers and readers.

Recently there has been two ruptures in Petroperu’s pipeline. Both ruptures have released significant amounts of oil into the Peruvian rivers. There was an estimated 1,000 barrels spilled into Mayuriaga on February 3, only a short nine days after indigenous Amazonian communities fell victim to the same duct releasing 2,000 barrels into the waterways.

Communities had asked for government assistance in cleaning the water and repairing any damages made, without much immediate response or much response in general. On March 6, the Wampis community of Mayuriaga seized a grounded military helicopter, taking hostage several officials and crew members to press for information regarding an emergency response plan to the spills.

Officials did refer to the second spill as a Mayuriagan spill but didn’t include the Mayuriagan community in the listing of affected groups that would receive emergency supplies and attention.

The group being held in Mayuriaga includes three Petroperu officials, four with OEFA and a specialist with the energy and mines ministry, said Germán Velásquez, the president of the Petroperu company.

The Petroperu company faces fines up to $17,000,000 if tests can prove that the spills affected the health of locals.