A group of American tourists, in addition to tourists from Switzerland, the U.K., France and Spain, are being held hostage by an indigenous tribe in a remote Amazon rainforest in Peru.
According to the BBC, around 70 tourists were traveling on river boats on the Cuninico River when the tribe took them captive Thursday morning.
Charlotte Wiltshire, a British passenger, said in a message to the BBC that the hostages were starting to run out of food and water.
“Conditions are starting to deteriorate,” she said, adding that the group needs “intervention to get us out of here.” Wiltshire said a pregnant woman, as well as diabetic, elderly and sick people are among the hostages.
Cuninico community activists said in a statement earlier this week that beginning Nov. 1, no boats would be allowed to pass in protest of a recent oil spill.
“We demand that the government talks to the Cuninico community or face consequences – the ultimate responsibility lies with the President of the Republic [Pedro del Castillo]”, the statement read.
According to a local news station called RPP Noticias, the tribe’s leader said the hostages would be released on Friday.
“The right and respect for life must prevail. In this context, we are going to provide the facilities so that the people who are on the boat can move to their destinations. That will be before noon,” he said.
“This measure, which is being taken for the second time, is due to the constant oil spills that have been taking place in the native communities. […] We have gone to the boat to inform [the tourists] why this is being done: because of the president’s neglect,” he added.
In August, U.S. special operations forces rescued a hostage from Africa in a raid, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley revealed at the time. The hostage’s identity wasn’t officially released, but reports suggest it may be a Catholic nun from the New Orleans, La. area.