Oil executives of Spanish company Repsol banned from leaving Peru after massive spill
The travel ban will last 18 months, according to Judge Romualdo Aguedo. It applies to four employees of the Spanish energy and oil company Repsol: the general manager of the La Pampilla refinery, Jaime Fernández-Cuesta, and three business leaders, Renzo Tejada, Gisela Posadas and José Rey.
The four will not appeal the decision, according to their lawyers, who said Repsol executives plan to cooperate with authorities as they investigate the disaster.
Last week, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo declared a state of environmental emergency for the coastal areas affected by the spill, calling it an “ecological disaster”. The measure is to last 90 working days, Castillo said.
The ship was hit by waves caused by the underwater eruption, spilling more than 6,000 barrels of crude oil into waters near the Ventanilla district of Callao, Peru’s main seaport.
Oil has since been discovered in the ocean and on sandy beaches along the Peruvian coast, including the islands of Pescadores and Puntas Guaneras.
“The crude oil spill constitutes a sudden event of significant impact against the coastal marine ecosystem of great biological diversity and a high risk to public health,” the Peruvian government said in a statement last Sunday.
Peru’s Foreign Minister Oscar Maurtua asked Repsol last week to compensate fishermen whose livelihoods had been virtually wiped out as a result of the accident.
“The Repsol oil spill in Ventanilla is the worst environmental disaster that has occurred in Lima in recent times and has caused serious damage to hundreds of fishing families. Repsol must compensate for this damage immediately,” Maurtua said in a statement. tweet.
A Repsol spokesman denied that the company should accept responsibility for the incident. Tine Van Den Wall Bake told local radio station RPP last week that “we did not cause this ecological disaster and we cannot say who is responsible”.
The spokesperson added that they had asked the Peruvian navy if there was a risk of a tsunami at the time and if the unloading should take place. The navy gave Repsol the green light to operate normally, Bake said.
She added that the company is committed to restoring the entire coastline to its original state. In a statement on Sunday, Repsol said it had organized more than 1,350 “properly trained” people to clean up the ocean and coastline affected by the spill.
CNN’s Jose Armijo contributed to this report.