Slow environmental justice: the Cuninico oil spill and the legal struggle against oil pollution in Peruvian Amazonia

Hernán Manrique López, José Carlos Orihuela

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

Resumen

This paper analyzes a case of environmental activism after one of the largest oil spills in Peruvian Amazonia, the 2014 Cuninico oil spill. A relatively more independent judiciary, environmental legislation, and weak though autonomous regulatory agencies led to a shift in institutional opportunity structure over the previous 20 years. The embryonic environmental state produced evidence of environmental harm and sanctioned state-owned oil enterprise Petroperú. However, that was not enough to produce timely measures to protect the affected communities. Indigenous peoples affected by the spill worked with human rights lawyers and civil society coalitions to bring the company to court. Almost a decade of high court activism has meant a burdensome process of ‘lawfare’ with important legal triumphs for plaintiffs. In 2020, a historic ruling mandated financial compensation for affected communities. Despite these triumphs, the long wait for the restitution of justice hints at an uncertain future.

Idioma originalInglés
PublicaciónEnvironmental Politics
DOI
EstadoAceptada/en prensa - 2024

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