October 12, 2006
As Bolivian President Evo Morales faces growing internal pressure, Hugo Chavez has declared he will come to the aid of his ally: "Venezuela will not keep its arms crossed if the Bolivian government and people are attacked from outside or within." Opponents of Morales and his proposed new constitution have staged protests in Santa Cruz in recent weeks, and Chavez has blamed the U.S. Embassy in La Paz plotting to incite dissident action. See CNN.com.
Indigenous groups have launched protests against three oil production facilities in the Peruvian Amazon region, on the grounds that they are suffering from the pollution side-effects. About 40 oil workers are trapped inside the facilities operated by Argentine-owned Pluspetrol, but the company says they are not the ones who caused the mess. As reported by BBC,
The Ministry of Health report found that the water contained high concentrations of hydrocarbons and heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic, and the Achuar people say it is destroying the fragile eco-system in which they live.