Tourists held by Peruvian indigenous group protesting oil spill are freed, says official.
Guests from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) released by the indigenous group that has been protesting against the oil spill in the Peruvian Amazon are taken to the airport by their rescuers, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said on Sunday.
“We have rescued four tourists that were taken captive by the Indians,” Humala wrote on Twitter.
The group, an indigenous group, on Saturday asked the government to stop all the work to remove oil and allow them to go free, AP reported.
The group, which was formed to demand justice from the government over the oil spill, had said that the Peruvian state was responsible for the environmental disaster, which began when exploratory drilling for oil began in October in the South American country.
The government insists it has complied with all legal processes and has released all drilling workers who were responsible for oil leakages.
On Sunday, there were scenes of chaos at the airport and on the streets of Lima, the capital, after the national police arrested six activists from the indigenous group.
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The six were arrested on Saturday night.
“We were held at the airport… until yesterday morning,” Peruvian journalist Jorge Zabal told Al Jazeera.
Among those detained was one of the leaders of the group, Oscar Murillo.
Zabal said he was detained by the authorities “because of what we are doing”.
“We are not against the oil industry but we are against the government,” he said.
The six arrested people included Oscar Murgilo, the founder of the indigenous group, and four other indigenous members from the group, said Zabal.
“The group is working for the people and against the state. We are not against oil exploration. We want a change in government,” Zabal said.
Murgilo, the group’s founder, told the daily La Republica that the group would only stop work if they were given the right to operate freely. He said he called on the state to restore the autonomy of the indigenous group and help them in their environmental activism.
The president of the Per