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Environmental and human rights group in Peru have denounced the government’s campaign to auction off large swathes of the Amazon to oil and gas companies.

They say the amount of Peruvian Amazon territory open to exploration has risen from 13% to 70% in two years.

They say this is putting at risk the biodiversity of the Amazon and the lives of indigenous people.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia has said the plans are part of his investment programme to tackle widespread poverty.

Of 91 oil and gas concessions currently on the books, many approved during Peru President Alan Garcia’s term, 59 are in the jungle.

Investment in exploration will top $1 billion this year from U.S. oil companies, something the administration does not want to lose to protests.

 

reports from Time magazine and this > BBC report <

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