Human rights groups have claimed that the Peru government's approval of expansion of Camisea project amounts to initiating genocide of Amazon's uncontacted tribes.
The expansion plan from the start was met with international outrage, including condemnation by the United Nations and international human rights organizations.
The rights group - Survival - in a report noted that the gas-plant expansion would decimate the uncontacted tribes living in the reserve, as any contact between gas workers and the Indians is likely to result in the spread of diseases or epidemics, to which the Indians lack immunity.
Several environmental and human rights group have opposed the approval granted by Peru's Ministry of Culture, whose job it is to protect the indigenous population,instead it gave permission to oil and gas giants Pluspetrol (Argentina), Hunt Oil (US) and Repsol (Spain) to take up gas-exploration work.
The companies for its work will be detonating thousands of explosive charges and drilling exploratory wells. And most worrying of all, thousands of workers will flood into the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, located just 100km from Machu Picchu.
The uncontacted tribes that still maintain their distance from the outside world often have been involved in skirmishes with outsiders resulting in shooting or grave injury to the tribesmen.
According to Survival, there are at least 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru currently living in deep isolated Amazon rainforest.
The tribes are now facing serious threats, especially due to increasing expansion activities in the area. The report also noted that Pluspetrol, one of the oil and gas companies in its in-house report - 'Anthropological Contingency Plan' had revealed that any diseases transmitted by workers could lead to 'prolonged periods of illness, massive deaths, and in the best cases, long periods of recovery' in the uncontacted tribe.
In 1980s, the first company to enter into the deep forests for exploring gas and oil was Shell, which caused an epidemic among the Nahua tribe and more than half of the tribe was wiped out.
The human and environmental rights groups claim that the project approval violates both Peruvian and international laws, which makes it mandatory for the government to take the consent of the tribes of land before taking up such projects on their lands.
Even as opposition over the new proposed plan is gaining steam, a recent health study conducted in the Peruvian Amazon has found that the rivers and land is fast becoming a site of widespread contamination from oil spills. The New Scientist report claimed that the study found high levels of toxic pollutants present in this deep forest region, which exceeds international standards.