Tourists, Held Hostage For More Than 24 Hours In Peru By Environmental Protestors, Released

Facebook photo/Angela Ramirez

A group of more than 240 tourists, including Americans, were taken hostage in Peru by environmental activists.  The hostages included a pregnant woman and elderly travelers.

The hostages have subsequently been released.

The tourists were taken by environmental activists from a local Indigenous group in an effort to elevate environmental concerns after an oil spill in September from the Norperuano System oil pipeline, operated by Petroperu, in Peru.

A woman claiming to be one of the hostages, posted to social media and seemed sympathetic to the activists stating, “Help me publish, we are in Cuninico an indigenous community of the Jungle, we are hostages of the community, as there were 46 oil spills, product of which DIED 2 children and 1 woman, they are KIND AND RESPECTFUL to us, but it is the only way they have found to look solutions for your community. The quicker they are heard the quicker they will let us go we been here since 10am they took the boat and took the battery. Help me share, we’re physically fine. Help me help them to be heard.” 

Facebook photo/Angela Ramirez

The US Department of Justice said in a statement to ABC that the situation has since been resolved. A total of 248 people, including 228 Peruvian citizens, were held while they were on a riverboat for more than 24 hours, the DoJ said.

“Our very punctual request is that the government declares a state of emergency due to the constant oil spills in our territory, and a committee presided by the president is then commissioned,” community leader Wadson Trujillo told national outlet TVPeru Noticias.

Angela Ramirez, a local who claimed to have been detained by the indigenous group, had written on social media that there were infants among the hostages.

“We spent the night here. We are running out of water to drink, the sun is very strong, there are babies crying, the youngest is only one month old, pregnant women, disabled people, and elderly,” Ms Ramirez said on Facebook. “Now we do not have electricity to charge our phones, nor water to clean ourselves.”

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