Earthwatch Institute, Maynard, MA, USA, August 26, 2009
On 26 July and 4 August 2009, armed gangs in Peru attacked a cruise ship containing several tourists while travelling along the Amazon River between Iquitos and Nauta. These two incidents appear to have been targeted at a specific company’s luxury cruise boat. So far no other boats have been targeted and police have confirmed that the offenders have been detained. As a result of these incidents, the Coast Guard and National Police recommended additional security measures for vessels in the area.
Earthwatch has been in communication with International SOS, our health and security consultants, , and has also been monitoring security advice from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the US State Department and the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs. None of these agencies have changed their overall travel recommendations for Peru in response to this recent activity. Earthwatch is planning on fielding all currently scheduled teams on the “Amazon Riverboat Exploration” project in Peru. We will be implementing all recommended security measures for vessels operating in the region as well as supplementary measures recommended by Dr. Richard Bodmer, the lead scientist for the riverboat project, , who has been conducting research from vessels in the region all summer. Additionally, we have contracted with a second vessel to enable the upcoming fall teams to operate in a convoy for added security.
Earthwatch cannot guarantee anyone’s safety completely. Natural and political disasters can, and do, happen without warning. Volunteers should read Project Briefings thoroughly and think carefully about their personal comfort level with the field conditions of the project, the volunteer tasks and their own physical and mental capabilities. We encourage volunteers to educate themselves about current conditions in Peru by consulting the following resources:
If you have booked an Earthwatch expedition and would like to speak to an advisor please call Australia on +61 (0)3 9682 6828 or the USA office on +1-800-776-0188.