Balkans migration route ‘completely shut’

Balkans migration route ‘completely shut’

Four European countries close their borders to all asylum seekers, and a series of oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon is harming vulnerable indigenous communities.

By Luke Vargas   
Published

Four European countries close their borders to all asylum seekers, and a series of oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon is harming vulnerable indigenous communities.

From United Nations headquarters in New York, this is your “World in 2:00.” I’m your host Luke Vargas for Talk Media News.

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A migration route through several countries in South Eastern Europe has completely closed, making it a lot harder for asylum seekers to reach northern E.U. countries.

Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia each shut their borders Wednesday, saying only those carrying proper passports and visas could pass through. That effectively excludes the vast majority of those fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Attention is now shifting to alternative routes asylum seekers may try to utilize. One includes trying to make the journey from western Greece to the southern tip of Italy across the Ionian Sea.

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A series of oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon are affecting indigenous communities. The pipeline that spilled is run by PEtroperu, a state-owned firm.

“In January and early February there were several significant spills in northern Peruvian Amazon.”

Andrew Miller, is the D.C. Advocacy Director for Amazon Watch.

“The pipeline was constructed over 40 years ago and there are many places that the pipeline itself is very deteriorated. These most recent spills were actually only the latest two in about 20 that have happened in the last five years.”

One indigenous group, the Wampis, was so aggrieved about being cut out of government recovery plans, that when state oil officials visited affected areas over the weekend, the tribe took the officials hostage.

Those hostages were freed late Tuesday, but Miller says the underlying environmental and social concerns highlighted by the spill remain unaddressed:

“The various indigenous people around the Peruvian Amazon are quite marginalized in different ways. If they don’t have the backing of national human rights organizations or environmental groups or international allies they’re very much on their own.”

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