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The citizen protest against Repsol for the oil spill in the sea grows in Lima


The regulatory body of the energy sector rules out that abnormal waves were the cause of the spill, as the company maintains

More than 1,000 people marched this Sunday in protest to the Repsol oil refinery that eight days ago produced a spill of at least 6,000 barrels of crude oil when unloading fuel from a ship off the coast of Peru. The rejection of the accident -which affects two protected natural areas and thousands of fishermen- grows, as well as testimonies that disrupt the company's version. The company maintains that the discharge was caused by abnormal waves following the submarine volcanic eruption in Tonga. However, a report from the energy and mining sector regulator (Osinergmin) reports that a sudden movement of the Italian freighter Mare Doricum could have broken the unloading system, the newspaper

La República reported this Sunday.

Until Friday, the contamination reached 1,800 square kilometers of beach strip and 7,139 square kilometers of sea in Lima and its bordering regions. Fishermen's unions and trade associations estimate that 3,000 people have lost their jobs. In addition, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Roberto Sánchez, projects that the losses in tourism will be 52 million dollars, since some five million people vacationed between January and March on the 21 beaches affected so far.

Although since Wednesday hundreds of fishermen have carried out sit-ins outside the La Pampilla refinery, demanding compensation from Repsol and a quick cleanup of the marine ecosystem, hundreds of citizens joined other demonstrations since Friday.

On Friday and Saturday, youth and environmental activists demonstrated with banners and music outside the company's headquarters in a business complex in the affluent San Isidro district.

This Sunday, the massive protest was organized by twenty youth organizations and unions from Ventanilla -where the most affected area is located, Playa Cavero- and the Association of Cyclists of Peru and other groups from districts of Metropolitan Lima joined.

Citizens marched with handmade banners - most of them with drawings of the birds that have drowned in oil - and chanting slogans such as: "Repsol, listen, get out of the country";

“No authority protects our sea”;

"Callao, I love you, that's why I defend you";

"Repsol, listen, the people repudiate you."

Arriving in front of the La Pampilla refinery, the leaders of the organizations took turns reading a statement.

They demanded that Repsol act for the "uncontrolled" spill that affects a good part of the Peruvian coast and that it assume its responsibilities.

Lawyer Ashley Mamani, representative of an environmental group, called for fair compensation for the fishermen.

A bird affected by the spill receives veterinary care at a zoo in Lima, on Friday.- (AFP)

According to the official report quoted by the newspaper

La República

, the unexpected rocking of the cargo ship was not due to "anomalous waves", and suggests that it could have occurred due to a maneuver by the crew. For the specialists of the regulatory entity, the rupture of the connection between the tanker and the multi-buoy terminal 2 of the La Pampilla refinery would be the reason for the oil leak, reported that newspaper.

The regulator's approach coincides with the version that the Navy offered to the Executive, because in a press conference on Friday night, Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez said that the armed institute ruled out the "swell" as a reason for the spill. In addition, the sports magazine Sudor published photos and videos taken by sailors who were in front of the ship, while they waited for more wind to blow up to continue a regatta that began at 2 in the afternoon on Saturday 24. “There was no bump, there was no wave, there was no tsunami at that point,” experienced sailor Alejandro Hughes told the magazine.

According to Sudor, when the athletes already saw traces of oil in the area, they canceled the competition that was supposed to end in the adjoining resort of Ancón. Repsol reported to the press on Sunday that a "limited spill" had occurred on Saturday afternoon due to the "violence of the waves" but that they had controlled the incident. The operator of the refinery reported to the prosecutor's office on Monday that the oil slick occupied 2.5 square meters and that it had spilled seven gallons of crude oil, a much smaller area than that later reported by the authorities.

The newspaper

El Comercio

obtained a more detailed version from Hughes, who assures that between 3 and 5 in the afternoon on the day of the spill he heard a very loud noise when he was in a straight line in front of the Mare Doricum, as his images document.

“It was a metallic sound, almost like a pop, and two minutes later there was another.

The sea was flat, there were no waves, there were no winds, no particular conditions”, he specified.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-01-24

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