Latin America


November 2021 – May 2022


Legal Defense Institute (IDL)

Funding Amount:



This Strategic Response Mechanism provided financial support to the Legal Defense Institute (IDL) of Peru in support of communities affected by the 2014 Norperuano pipeline oil spill. IDL worked to ensure that the reparations for damages and health care ordered by the judicial court ruling actually reached the affected communities in Loreto, Peru.


In June 2014, 2,500 barrels of oil from the Norperuano Pipeline spilled in Peru’s Loreto region, severely impacting the Indigenous Cuninico, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, and Nueva Esperanza communities, among others. These communities have lived in the Amazon Forest region and stewarded the land for generations. The spill, which occurred in the Cuninico River, has impacted their ability to grow crops and access clean water. The communities worked together, with the support of the IDL, to file a case against Peru’s Health Ministry (MINSA) and the regional government of Loreto in order to request specialized health care for the communities affected by the oil spill.

In two unprecedented rulings by Peru’s judicial courts, the communities won. In 2018, a regional court ordered the Regional Health Directorate of Loreto to develop, implement, and finance a health plan for the Native communities, and in 2021 the Constitutional Court ordered PetroPerú to identify damages to determine compensation The main objective of this SRM project was to ensure compliance with the judicial ruling, to guarantee the participation of community leaders in the development of the health plan, and to determine the value of damages caused by the oil spill.

How did we help?

With funding from RRI’s SRM, IDL led participation and represented four of the affected communities in hearings on the enforcement of the two rulings, bringing community leaders and officials from the Judiciary and Regional Health Directorate to discuss face-to-face.

New health plans are discussed by local communities in Peru affected by the 2014 Norperuano oil spill.
On April 23, 2022, the communities of San Francisco, Nueva Esperanza, Cuninico and Santa Rosa discuss the new health plan. Credit: IDL


The impact

  • IDL designed and implemented a community-led health plan for four of the communities affected by the 2014 spill of 2,500 barrels of oil.
  • IDL also led a successful campaign to raise public awareness on progress in compliance with the court’s rulings and published a document outlining the process of monitoring and enforcing ruling compliance.
  • Their efforts resulted in 17 media stories being published about their struggle, including Wayka’s “The tragedy after an oil spill has a woman’s face”, featuring video interviews with community members. The impact was also documented by AIDA, Diario La Republica, Servindi, and Expreso, among others. Public pressure is extremely important and a way communities can help ensure regional governments and judicial bodies adhere to hearing schedules and protocols.
  • IDL produced a report on the valorization of damages in the community—both ecological and economic—sharing this information with community members, judicial officials, and PetroPerú. With this information, the affected communities are more equipped to reach a fair agreement with Petroperú throughout the compensation negotiations.