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Peru indigenous leaders push quick Amazon protection vote, defying oil industry- Reuters

Date: Jun 23, 2020

Peru’s indigenous leaders have been lobbying lawmakers to pass a bill to declare swathes of virgin Amazon rainforest off limits to outsiders, but they fear opposition by the oil industry may scupper a rare opportunity to secure a vote this week.

With concerns growing that the coronavirus pandemic could devastate remote communities, Congress is considering whether to fast track a bill which would restrict access to a string of indigenous territories near the border with Ecuador and Brazil.

Advocates say the legislation, designed to protect these areas from exploitation by oil and gas, mining and logging companies, would also help protect indigenous communities from the virus.

“Until now, high risk extractive activities have been allowed in these territories,” Jorge Pérez, president of the Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, told Reuters in a statement.

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