The Calilegua’s oil fields, in the Jujuy Province, started to be exploited in 1969 by the State company YPF. Even though the Calilegua National Park was founded in 1979 conjointly by the National and Jujuy’s governments, the oil drilling licenses passed through different owners and ended up in 2012 into the hands of the Chinese company Petro AP (JHP International Petroleum Engineering Ltd), which signed a memorandum of understanding with the JEMSE company (public and belonging to the Jujuy Province). Petro AP demanded a license in 2014 for multiplying its oil wells in the Caimancito field, in the territory of the protected area of Calilegua. By that time already ten oil wells were active while the forest rangers denounced around 24 abandoned wells polluting the Yuto stream, threatening the fauna, flora and the drinking water of the commune of Caimancito and the surrounding rural area. The Jujuy Province Governor Eduardo Fellner argues the activity will bring job opportunities to the region. The General Assembly of the Guarani Nation started to mobilize reminding that in the past being hired by multinationals has always meant low-paid jobs and poor working conditions for their communities.
In spite of local opposition, the license was renewed for 24 years and allowed the extension of the exploited area in the Caimancito field. On November 10th 2014, the workers of the National Park, together with the local bishops and a neighbors’ collective, sent a request to Eduardo Fellner demanding the cleaning up of the localities of Yuto and Caimancito and the cease of the exploitation of the oil reserves. The forest rangers of Calilegua have been denouncing the pollution of the site for the last decade. They also oppose the project and went on strike at the end of October 2015 calling upon the responsibilities of the public institutions for ending the oil company activities. The local inhabitants found an ally in Greenpeace Argentina whose national campaign stresses the illegality of such a project which violates diverse national environmental laws. During the year 2015 their campaign for Calilegua is being articulated around raising awareness about the threat upon the forest and its wild animal species.