Britons are among a group of around 70 tourists being held hostage in the Amazon. Peruvian locals are also holding citizens of French and Swiss nationality, among others, according to early reports.
The residents of Peru are understood to be protesting the lack of government aid following a recent oil leak.
Around 2,500 barrels of crude oil spilled in the world’s largest rainforest on September 16, according to Peru’s Environment Ministry.
State-owned oil company Petroperu said after the leak it did not yet have an estimate of the number of barrels piled.
The group behind today’s protest claims to want to “attract the attention” of their Government about the lack of support following the leak.
Watson Trujillo, leader of the Cuninico community, told RPP radio: “We want to draw the Government’s attention with this action, there are foreigners and Peruvians, there are about 70 people.”
He accepted that this was a “radical measure”, but stressed it would be worthwhile if it resulted in a delegation being sent to verify the environmental damage suffered by the spill.
Women and children were among those being held by the residents, as well as people with disabilities.
The tourists being held on the boat included citizens from the United States, Spain, France, the UK and Switzerland.
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Writing in a post on Instagram, Ramírez added: “Help us spread the word. We are in Cuninico. We are hostages of the indigenous community. There was an oil spill that caused two deaths.
“They have been very nice and respectful with us, but this is the only way for them to get the attention of the Government. The faster they get to be heard, the faster they will let us go.
“We are here from 10am. We spent the night on the boat. There’s not enough water to drink. The sun is out. There are babies, pregnant women and elderly people. And there’s no more electricity to charge our phones.”
Local authorities have yet to make a statement.
Express.co.uk has contacted the UK Foreign Office for comment.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.