Sun Feb 05, 2023
February 05, 2023

Peru | Those Responsible for the Ecological Disaster in Ventanilla Should be Jailed!

REPSOL out of Peru! Expropriate La Pampilla refinery and clean up the environmental disaster! The oil spill is the responsibility of REPSOL and the neoliberal economic model that Castillo continues to support.
By PST – Peru
The more than six thousand barrels of oil spilled on the beaches of Ventanilla, Peru by Repsol have caused severe damage to the marine ecosystem. The impact is so great that some experts say it may take more than a decade to finish cleaning up the sea and coasts.
The oil slick now extends northward to Chancay, affecting beaches and protected areas. And the tide of crude oil continues to advance northward, affecting the economy of the entire region.
Who is responsible?
It is clear that Repsol is primarily responsible for the spill. Hence the indignation aroused by the company’s cynical declarations as it attempts to wash its hands of the disaster.
Repsol (a Spanish multinational) took over the La Pampilla refinery in 1996, during the Fujimori dictatorship, and claims that its facilities are the best in the country. It refines 117 thousand barrels of oil per day.
However, the facts show that the way Repsol functions has nothing to do with its supposed “first-rate” operations. On the contrary, the company has shown itself incapable of an immediate response to the spill.
Yet Repsol would not get away with this if it weren’t for the fact that it acts under the protection of a neoliberal economic plan. These policies have not only made our country’s economy addicted to foreign investment but have also made it difficult to exercise any control over the activity of the companies who operate here.
This economic plan has continued under the Castillo government and has been “locked-in” by the Constitution of the dictatorship, Julio Velarde at the helm of the BCRP (Central Reserve Bank of Peru), and Pedro Francke at the MEF (Ministry of Economy and Finance).

A great national struggle is necessary to put an end to the looting by multinationals and damage to our environment.
For the working class, the only way to guarantee urgent action and rehabilitation of the damage inflicted is that Repsol pay for such actions immediately. The company must be forced to put all of its resources at the service of the immediate clean-up and restoration of all affected areas.
In addition, the next step is to recuperate La Pampilla refinery by expropriation so that those same resources can be exploited rationally and safely, while at the same time remitting direct income to the State’s coffers. The only way to guarantee that the usual corrupt politicians and bosses do not have yet another field day with this business is to place the company under worker control.
However, Castillo who talked about expropriation when he was a candidate, has now gone silent on the topic. Instead he “asks” Repsol to take responsibility like someone begging a thief to return his money.
Today it is in the hands of the working class and the people to rise up in a great national struggle to demand the recovery of La Pampilla, and with it our oil, gas (Camisea) and mining resources. Today these are in the hands of large, mostly foreign companies who are only interested in getting rich at the expense of our poverty, our health, and the destruction of the wealth and diversity of our environment.
WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR RESOURCES AND PUT THEM IN THE SERVICE OF THE NEEDS OF WORKERS AND PEOPLE. WE MUST EXPLOIT THEM RATIONALLY, AND GUARANTEE ENVIRONMENTAL REHABILITATION!
Originally published in Spanish here
Translated to English by Rita Brown

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