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Peru tourists to be released from detained boat

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    33 minutes ago

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Around 70 tourists in Peru are being transferred from a river boat, having been detained by indigenous protesters since early on Thursday.

The group – which includes at least three British tourists – held the boat in protest at an earlier oil spill.

“After dialogue with the [head[ of the Cuninico communities, our request to release people was accepted,” officials in the Amazon region said.

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A British woman earlier said conditions were “starting to deteriorate”.

Charlotte Wiltshire told the BBC they were running out of food and water – adding there were pregnant, diabetic, elderly and sick people on the boat.

Peruvian, Swiss, American, Spanish and French nationals were also believed to have been on board.

Despite being transferred, it’s thought the tourists’ belongings will stay on the original boat. It’s not known to where they are being transferred.

The oil spill that sparked the protest from Cuninico’s indigenous community happened on 16 September.

Activists from the Cuninico community released a statement this week saying that from midnight on 1 November, no boats or vessels would be able to pass.

“We demand that the government talks to the Cuninico community or face consequences – the ultimate responsibility lies with the President of the Republic [Pedro del Castillo]”, their statement read.

Speaking to a local TV station, Prime Minister Anibal Torres appeared to blame the Cuninico community itself for cutting the pipeline involved in the spill.

One Peruvian passenger on the boat, Regina Mortua, said they were stranded at the mouth of the Cuninico River.

“A few minutes ago the native community decided to take our [tourist] boat close to their town,” she said.

“A few hours ago another boat came for us to board, however it was not possible, because it only transports food.”

Another tourist told local TV the group had been fed, but had been told they would be held for up to eight days, if there was no resolution.

The UK Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with the local authorities and a very small number of British nationals involved in an incident in Peru.”

This picture taken from the boat shows some of the protesters

Local leaders were seen holding a meeting with the boat crew

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