About 100 riverboat passengers - including foreigners - who had been detained for a day in protest over what the community claimed to be government inactivity on harmful oil spills have been released by an indigenous group in Peru's Amazon rainforest, said reports.

A local media outlet said that none of the tourists were hurt during the protest.

In order to raise awareness about the oil spill in a nearby river, the Cuninico indigenous community, from the Urarinas area in Loreto province in Peru's Amazon rainforest, had held the passengers, which included nationals of France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Peru.

Peru’s independent public defender agency said on Twitter that “after dialogue with the (head) of the Cuninico communities, our request to release people were accepted”.

The chief of the indigenous group, Watson Trujillo, said all the tourists had departed along the Maranon River just after midday on Friday, Nov. 4, onboard the vessel named Eduardo 11, which had been held since the day before by residents of Cuninico.

The passengers were en route to Iquitos, he said.

Trujillo added that until the government provides them with specific assistance to address the pollution impacting their community, the residents of Cuninico will continue to protest and block riverboat traffic.

He asked the government of President Pedro Castillo to declare an emergency in the area to deal with the effects of oil spills.

The oil spills in 2014 and earlier this year have caused much damage to the people who depend on fish from the river as the main part of their diet, Trujillo added.

Peru’s Minister of Mines and Energy Alessandra Herrera Jara said through Twitter that her ministry was responding to the community’s request and an environmental emergency had been declared on Sept. 24 in the area affected.

Following a large oil spill on the shore not far from Lima, Peru, the Spanish energy company Repsol stated earlier this year that it had started a clean-up operation.

According to the government, Repsol spilled some 6,000 barrels of oil into the ocean not far from its La Pampilla refinery. Dead seals, fish, and birds also washed ashore in the region drenched in oil, and fishing operations in the area had to be discontinued.

Representation image.

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