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Brazil navy demands facts about oil spill from 30 ships from 10 countries

Christian Fernsby |
The Brazilian navy began to demand that 30 oil tankers from 10 foreign countries make their statements as to what caused the spillage of a vast volume of crude oil that has washed ashore on 132 Brazilian beaches and threatens the fauna of the region.

Topics: BRAZIL    OIL    SPILL   

The massive oil spill, which was first detected in early September, has now befouled the beaches of 63 municipalities in nine states of northeastern Brazil, leaving at least 12 sea turtles dead and threatening hundreds of animal species, experts say.

As part of the investigation of this pollution, the Brazilian navy decided to get in touch with 30 oil tankers from 10 foreign countries to request explanations of the oil spill.

“The navy will contact the competent authorities of these tankers bearing the flags of their countries, along with the International Maritime Organization and the Federal Police, to clear up this incident,” the naval force said in a statement.

According to a preliminary investigation by state oil company Petrobras, the origin of the oil spilled “was not Brazilian.”

This week, in fact, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said there were indications that this was Venezuelan petroleum spilled from a foreign tanker, which was immediately denied by the neighboring country that accused Brazil of spreading “unfounded” news.

On that subject, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in a number of statements has avoided specifying which is spilled crude’s country of origin, while his Energy and Mines Minister Bento Albuquerque repeated this Thursday that the ongoing investigations are as yet inconclusive.

According to the navy, since last Sept. 2, the date on which oil was first detected on Brazilian beaches, 1,583 members of the military have been deployed to the affected areas, an effort supported by the Defense Ministry, the army and institutions of the United States.

According to experts, the tons of crude found in waters of the Brazilian Atlantic threaten hundreds of animal species, some of them in danger of extinction like the manatee, and may even contaminate the food chain in a way that poisons humans.

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