Peru’s National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) filed a civil claim against six companies – Repsol SA (Spain), Mapfre Global Risks (Spain), Mapfre Peru Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (Peru), La Pampilla Refinery (Peru), Transtotal Maritime Agency (Peru) and Fratelli d’amico Armatori (Italy) – for their alleged liability in the January 15 oil spill off the coast north of Lima.
A volcanic eruption in Tonga on January 14 produced high waves off Peru a day later and caused the spill when d’Amico Fratelli tanker Mare Doricum was discharging oil at one of the La Pampilla refinery’s offshore mooring buoys. More than 10,000 barrels of oil spilled into the ocean and washed up on 25 local beaches, as well as three protected marine reserves. Peruvian officials called the spill an “ecological disaster.”
The $4.5bn claim includes $3bn for damages and $1.5bn for non-pecuniary damage to affected consumers, users and third parties.
The executive president of Indecopi, Julián Fernando Palacín Gutiérrez, indicated that “these actions could generate jurisprudence on issues of oil spills that cause damage and collective moral damage due to pollution of the environment in coastal areas, beaches, artisanal fishing activities, tourism and commercial activities of the more than twenty affected spas”.