British and American tourists are among 70 adults and children being held hostage on a river boat by indigenous group in Peru’s Amazon rainforest

  • The tourists were travelling on a river boat in Cuninico in the Peruvian rainforest
  • An indigenous group held them up, demanding government action over oil spill
  • Passengers have been told they could be detained for up to eight days 

Britons have been taken hostage by an indigenous group in in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, local media reported.

The tourists were part of a group of 70 travellers who were also from France, Spain, the US and Switzerland when they were held up on their river boat.

A group leader said they wanted to ‘catch the government’s attention with this action’ after not receiving enough state help from an oil spill in September.

Angela Ramirez, who is one of those detained, said a one-month child, pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly are among those on board.

She added they have been told they could be held hostage for up to eight days until a solution is reached. 

Britons have been taken hostage by an indigenous group in in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, local media reported


Angela Ramirez, who is one of those detained, said a one-month child, pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly are among those on board

Watson Trujillo, who leads the Cuninico community, said the ‘drastic measures’ should put pressure on the government to send a delegation to assess the damage from the spill of 2,500 tons of crude oil into the Cuninico river.

The detainees would spend the night inside the vessel while awaiting a solution to the situation, he added.

Trujillo said he would return to the boat on Friday to evaluate the possibility of releasing the tourists.

The government and police did not comment on the incident, which took place on a tributary of the Maranon river.

Angela (pictured) had been on a cycling trip through the Peruvian jungle for eight days when they tried to travel through the Cuninico River by boat today and were detained

Indigenous communities had already been blocking the transit of all vessels on the river in protest against the spill, which was caused by a rupture in the Norperuano oil pipeline.

On September 27, the government declared a 90-day state of emergency in the impacted region, which is home to the Cuninico and Urarinas communities and where about 2,500 indigenous people live.

The 800km-long Norperuano pipeline, owned by state-owned Petroperu, was built four decades ago to transport crude oil from the Amazon region to the ports of Piura, on the coast.

According to Petroperu, the spill was the result of an intentional 21-centimeter cut in the pipeline pipe.

Angela had been on a cycling trip through the Peruvian jungle for eight days when they tried to travel through the Cuninico River by boat today and were detained. 

A post on her Facebook read: ‘The faster they are heard, the faster they will let us go.

‘Help me share, we are physically fine. Help me help them be heard.’

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