Two Mapfre companies are among six entities being sued by the Peruvian government for a collective $4.5bn in damages over a January oil spill.
A recent report from TRT World says that Repsol, Mapfre Global Risks, Mapfre Peru Insurance and Reinsurance Companies, La Pampilla Refinery, Transtotal Maritime Agency, and Fratelli d’amico Armatori are being sued for $3bn in environment damages, plus $1.5bn in compensation. The instigator of the suit is the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI).
A statement from INDECOPI said: “As it is remembered, the oil spill of the Repsol company affected approximately more than 700,000 inhabitants, in addition to the closure of multiple beaches and shops in the areas. Several fishermen’s associations from all the coves between Ventanilla and Barranca (clearly identified in the reports of the Environmental Assessment and Control Agency – OEFA), were also affected.”
The civil claim has been filed before the 27th Civil Court of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima.
According to The Jordan Times, the disaster happened when, “Almost 12,000 barrels of crude spilled into the sea off Peru on January 15 as a tanker unloaded oil at a refinery owned by Spanish energy giant Repsol in Ventanilla, some 30 kilometres north of Lima. Carried by ocean currents, the oil spread some 140 kilometres northwards, killing hundreds of sea birds and forcing fishermen to abandon their work due to pollution described as an ecological disaster by the government.”
It added: “At least 5,000 traditional fishermen and traders in Lima and the neighbouring province of Huaral have been affected by the spill, according to the government.”
While Mapfre has no official response yet to the lawsuit, it will undoubtedly be a headache for Nicolás Delgado and Juan Carlos Rizo Patrón, who were named last week as the company’s respective new CEO and president.