Oil company nominated for "award"
Friends of the Earth nominate Perenco for 'Pinocchio Prize 2009'.
Perenco has been nominated for a spoof Friends of the Earth (FoE) award for starting a billion dollar oil project in an area of the Amazon inhabited by two of the world’s last uncontacted tribes.
The company's investment will contravening a recent recommendation from the UN. Perenco, that denies the tribes exist, is being sued by Peru’s national indigenous peoples’ organisation, AIDESEP.
The company was one of four nominees in the human rights category for Friends of the Earth France’s ‘Pinocchio Prize 2009’. The prize is intended to raise awareness of, and condemn, French businesses who ‘perpetrate the most serious human rights violations.’
FoE says that in June there was a ‘massacre’ following indigenous protests against government plans to open up their land to oil companies without their consent. ‘Peru's president, Alan Garcia, has recognised publicly that the government failed to consult adequately with indigenous people about oil concessions. But Perenco doesn't seem ready to learn from this, and is aggravating what is an extremely tense situation following the massacre,’ says FoE.
Perenco’s chairman, Francois Perrodo, met Alan Garcia earlier this year and promised to invest two billion dollars in the project. At the same time, indigenous people in the Amazon were protesting against the company and preventing their boats from travelling on a major Amazon tributary.
Survival International director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘This is a major embarrassment for
Perenco. One way of guaranteeing they don’t win the Pinocchio prize would be to abandon this project tomorrow.’