At least 10 Americans held hostage with a group of more than 240 tourists on a riverboat in Peru have been released, it was reported on Friday.

About 248 people, including children, pregnant women and the elderly, were detained by activists from an indigenous group protesting the recent oil spills that have polluted their lands.

Foreign and Peruvian tourists wait in the boat where they were detained in Loreto, northern Peru, on November 4, 2022.
(Angela Ramirez / AFP via Getty Images)

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The State Department did not provide specific information on the hostage situation, but a spokesman said the US embassy in Lima was “in communication with the relevant Peruvian government and law enforcement”.

“We are aware of reports that all passengers have been rescued. We currently have no further comments,” they added.

It is unclear how long the tourists were held or what the conditions were, but, according to an ABC News report, the hostages were released on Friday.

In addition to the Americans, 228 Peruvian citizens and British, Swiss, Spanish and French citizens would be on board.

A group official told the publication that they had no intention of harming the hostages.

A girl participates in a protest by activists in front of the Peruvian oil company PetroPeru in Lima on 21 September 2017, to support the Amazonian tribes Achuar, Kichwa and Quechua affected by the activities of the oil industry in their ancestral lands.

A girl participates in a protest by activists in front of the Peruvian oil company PetroPeru in Lima on 21 September 2017, to support the Amazonian tribes Achuar, Kichwa and Quechua affected by the activities of the oil industry in their ancestral lands.
(Cris Bouroncle / AFP via Getty Images)

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Indigenous activists reportedly intended to get the attention of government authorities in Lima to draw attention to a leaking oil pipe that has been causing problems for the community and their land for decades.

A Sept. 5 leak from the nearly 500-mile-long Norperuano pipeline reportedly affected five communities in the Nacion Chapra Territory and a second leak, on Sept. 16, specifically affected the Cuninico community.

According to the nonprofit Earth Rights International, the oil spills have directly contaminated rivers and streams that indigenous communities rely on for drinking and fishing.

Crops were also reportedly affected by toxin contamination in the soil.

Noa Walker Crawford, British external consultant on climate change, walks beside the pipes as she leaves Lake Palcacocha, located 4,650 meters above sea level in Huascaran National Park, in Huaraz, northeastern Peru, on May 23, 2022.

Noa Walker Crawford, British external consultant on climate change, walks beside the pipes as she leaves Lake Palcacocha, located 4,650 meters above sea level in Huascaran National Park, in Huaraz, northeastern Peru, on May 23, 2022.
(Luka Gonzales / AFP via Getty Images)

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The group reported that between 1996 and 2006 the Peruvian government-owned and operated pipeline saw at least 37 oil spills.

Indigenous communities have called on the government to repair the pipeline to prevent further devastation to the land and to the well-being of the community.

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