Oil frontiers and indigenous resistance in the Peruvian Amazon

Martí Orta-Martínez, Matt Finer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)


    The Peruvian Amazon is culturally and biologically one of the most diverse regions on Earth. Since the 1920s oil exploration and extraction in the region have threatened both biodiversity and indigenous peoples, particularly those living in voluntary isolation. We argue that the phenomenon of peak oil, combined with rising demand and consumption, is now pushing oil extraction into the most remote corners of the world. Modern patterns of production and consumption and high oil prices are forcing a new oil exploratory boom in the Peruvian Amazon. While conflicts spread on indigenous territories, new forms of resistance appear and indigenous political organizations are born and become more powerful. The impacts of oil exploration and exploitation and indigenous resistance throughout the oil history of the Peruvian Amazon are reviewed here, focusing on the Achuar people in Rio Corrientes. The driving forces, impacts, and responses to the current oil exploration boom are analyzed from an environmental justice perspective. We conclude that, in a context of peak oil and growing global demand for oil, such devastating effects for minor quantities of oil are likely to increase and impact other remote parts of the world. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-218
    JournalEcological Economics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2010


    • Achuar
    • Commodity frontiers
    • Environmental liabilities
    • Identity politics
    • Land titling
    • Oil extraction
    • Participatory monitoring
    • Peak oil
    • Political ecology
    • Road-blocks
    • Voluntary isolation


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