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Protesters in Peruvian Amazon free captured oil barges

LIMA (AFP) – Indigenous protesters in Peru’s Amazon have released two seized vessels belonging to the Canadian oil company PetroTal, and freed the 14 crew members, the company said on Tuesday.

“The barges have been released” and the crew members – Brazilians and Peruvians – are in good condition, an oil company source told AFP.

The source said the vessels were seized on June 6 and freed last Saturday, when they were returned along with 40,000 barrels of oil that one of them was carrying.

It was unclear if there was any agreement between PetroTal and the Indigenous people, who demand more resources for social projects, a recurrent subject of friction in oil-producing areas.

The communities had expressed their disagreement with the contribution of 2.5 per cent of the Canadian company’s production for the development initiatives.