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Peru’s Amazon Tribes will Block any Attempt by Oil Companies to Operate on their Lands

The Achuar's ancestral lands cover about two-thirds of oil Block 64, though most communities lack formal land titles

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Andres Sandi (right) and Alberto Pizango, who represented the Achuar ethnic group of the Peruvian Amazon at a press conference, May 14, 2007, accused the U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. of systematic pollution. On Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, almost 50 Achuar communities are trying to stop Petroperu and GeoPark from drilling for oil and say they will physically block any attempts to operate on their lands. VOA
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Lima, December 12, 2016: An indigenous federation opposed to a recently approved plan for oil drilling in the Peruvian Amazon said on Friday that native communities will physically block any attempt by oil companies to operate on their lands.

Last week the Peruvian government gave the green light for Santiago-based GeoPark Ltd. to produce oil in Block 64 with state-owned energy company Petroperu as its junior partner. The move is part of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s bid to “untangle” stalled investments from red tape.

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But Jeremias Petsein, president of the indigenous federation FENAP, said the chiefs of 45 Achuar communities that live in Block 64 are all opposed to oil drilling and plan to block the companies from setting foot on their lands.

Block 64 has about 40 million barrels of oil in proven and probable reserves. GeoPark and Petroperu struck a partnership to develop it two years ago, but the previous government did not issue approval amid concerns about Petroperu returning to oil production after more than two decades.

The Achuar’s ancestral lands cover about two-thirds of oil Block 64, though most communities lack formal land titles, said Petsein.

“We have healthy rainforest free of pollution; that’s why we don’t want oil companies to come in,” Petsein said. Oil pollution “is a reality in other indigenous communities, it makes people sick and destroys our way of life.”

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The Achuar are asking local courts to annul the 1995 creation of Block 64, as well as last week’s approval of GeoPark’s plans for operating there. FENAP attorney Raquel Yrigoyen said both measures were illegal because the government did not consult the Achuar as required by laws protecting indigenous rights.

The government did not respond to requests for comment.

GeoPark said the focus of its project in Block 64 is between the Situche and Anaso creeks, where Shuar and Achuar native communities that are not affiliated with FENAP have supported oil exploration.

“GeoPark respects the rights of indigenous people and would not seek to develop areas where local populations are opposed to drilling activity,” the company said in a statement.

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Peru is one of the region’s fastest-growing economies. But it is rife with disputes over natural resources that have derailed billions in investments and left more than a dozen dead in clashes with police in recent years.

Petroperu, which mainly transports and refines oil, has reported a dozen leaks in its Amazonian pipeline this year — a source of tension with native communities. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?