The Ecologist


Peru: 1/25 of 38
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34 people were killed at the 2009 protest for indigenous rights at Bagua, Peru. Photo: anonoymous via powless / Flickr (CC BY).

Neoliberals with chainsaws: deforestation in Peru and the future of the Amazon

Clément Doleac

5th October 2015

Peru is in hot competition with Brazil to be the main focus of Amazonian deforestation, writes Clément Doleac. A neoliberal government desperate to hand over the country's forests, oil, gas, minerals and indigenous lands for corporate exploitation is unafraid to break national laws, turn a blind eye to air and water pollution, and respond to any challenges with overwhelming violence. more...
Quechua mother and child in the Sacred Valley near Qosqo (Cusco), Peru. Photo: Thomas Quine via Flickr (CC BY).

Enclosing the indigenous commons in highland Peru

Arthur Scarritt

14th July 2015

Under the guise of a land-titling project, Peru is breaking up and privatising indigenous common lands across the Andean highlands, writes Arthur Scarritt. While the law provides for communal titling and democratic votes, in practice there's no provision for communities to exercise these rights, and the many are being dispossessed in favour of large, 'efficient' market-oriented producers. more...
Some 300 indigenous Guajajara and Awá-Guajá people blockade the Carajás railroad in October 2012 to call for the repeal of Brazil's Ordinance 303, which abolished the need for indigenous consultation for major infrastructure projects deemed integral to

'Deadly' trans-Amazon railway sparks fear among rainforest tribes

The Ecologist

16th June 2015

A proposed $30 billion railway line linking the the Peruvian and Brazilian coasts threatens devastation to forests and indigenous tribes that lie along its route, and will add to wider pressures on land and forests. more...
A Kichwa girl on the Rio Tigre blockade. Photo: David Hill.

Victory in prospect for Peru's Kichwa People after 40 years of oil pollution

David Hill

10th February 2015

A month-long blockade of the Rio Tigre deep in the Peruvian Amazon has secured promises of compensation and cleanup for Peru's Kichwa communities who have suffered 40 years of contaminated waters from oil drilling operations in their remote Amazon region. But until the funds materialize, they are holding firm in their resolve. more...
From the front cover of 'Adventures in the Anthropocene' by Gaia Vince, published by Random House.

Adventures in the Anthropocene - a journey to the heart of the planet

Robert Hunziker

2nd June 2015

Gaia Vince's remarkable book is far more than a litany of the problems of global warming and mass extinction, writes Robert Hunziker. It's also an inspiring account of how people can respond to such crises in wonderful, imaginative, creative ways, achieving seemingly impossible tasks from seeding glaciers in the Himalayas, to holding back the desert with dew. more...
The Sotrami company office. Photo: John Crabtree.

Fair Trade gold mining in the highlands of Peru

John Crabtree & Judith Condor-Vidal

14th January 2015

Most gold mining in Peru causes serious environmental damage, write John Crabtree & Judith Condor-Vidal, but there is one exception - a Fair Trade certified mine close to the world-famous Nazca Lines. Now it's up to us to demand Fair Trade gold from the jewellery trade, rewarding responsible producers and expanding the market for new Fair Trade gold miners. more...
Peruvian police defend Glencore from a demonstration.

Glencore Xstrata and corporate power in Peru

Aldo Orellana Lopez and Philippa de Boissière

27th December 2014

A new wave of ruthless conquistadors has arrived in Peru, write Aldo Orellana Lopez and Philippa de Boissière - global corporations after minerals, oil, gas, timber, land ... And instead of brandishing the Bible and the sword, they proclaim high sounding policies on environment and human rights, while co-opting police and politicians in their pillage of resources. more...
A booth at COP20 in Lima - where the collective IQ of negotiators has barely achieved double figures. Photo: Climate Change via Flickr.

COP20 extended another day - but where's the money?

Alex Kirby & Oliver Tickell

12th December 2014

In a familiar ritual, the COP20 climate talks have been extended for an extra day as delegates struggle to reach some kind of agreement. The good news is that worthwhile emissions reductions may be achieved - but poor countries are asking: where's the money? more...
The original heads in sand salute at Sydney's Bondi Beach. Photo: unknown.

Bottoms up! 'Head in sand salute' is the new climate protest

Maxine Newlands

10th December 2013

A planned 'head in sand' salute had to be abandoned at COP20 in Peru this week, writes Maxine Newlands - called off due to lack of sand on Lima's stony shores. But climate campaigners in Australia and New Zealand made up for it with dozens of their own 'bums up' actions on sandy Antipodean beaches ... more...
At COP20 in Lima, Indigenous protestors from Saweto in the Peruvian Amazon protest at ongoing land grabs and murder of their leadeat the COP20 in Lima, Peru. Photo: Luka Tomacrs / Friends of the Earth International.

COP20 and corporate power - destroying the edifice of false climate solutions

Alexander Reid Ross

10th December 2014

Peru, notorious for its brutal exploitation of forests, oil and minerals, theft of indigenous lands and murder of eco-defenders, is an unlikely host for the COP20 climate talks, writes Alexander Reid Ross. Except that Peru's actions reflect the corporate land-grabbing agenda manifest in the false solutions on offer in Lima this week. It's a time for resistance, not compromise! more...
A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

COP20 host Peru claims forest 'leadership' - while attacking forest protectors

AIDESEP / Forest Peoples Programme

8th December 2014

Peru's government is actively undermining indigenous peoples' efforts to protect their forests - by refusing to title 20 million hectares of their lands and turning a blind eye to illegal logging. At the same time it's handing out vast concessions for oil, gas, mining and timber exploitation, expanding palm oil production and planning 50 major forest-flooding dams. more...
A Matsé leader in the Peruvian Amazon pledges to attack oil workers intruding into the tribe's territory with spears, bows and arrows. Photo: David Hill.

'It's war!' Peru-Brazil indigenous people pledge to fight Amazon oil exploration

David Hill

8th December 2014

Peru - host of the COP20 UN climate conference now under way in Lima - is facing rebellion by a 3,500 strong indigenous people deep in the Amazon committed to fighting oil exploration in their forest territory, writes David Hill, following the government's failure to consult Matsés communities or respect their rights. more...

Peru: 1/25 of 38
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'And now my friends, my cousins, died for this wood.' Photo: still from 'Our Fight' by Handcrafted Films.

How long can Norway ignore Peru's indigenous rights violations?

Chris Lang

10th December 2014

The COP20 host, Peru's President Humala, certainly talked the talk on indigenous rights last September when he signed a $300 million deal with Norway. But his violations of indigenous rights, 'hands off' approach to murders of indigenous leaders and recent unguarded comments betray his true sentiments. more...
Watch the lady! Rich country negotiators are trying to pull their own version of the three card trick on developing countries at COP20 in Lima. Photo: Steven Tyrie via Flickr.

Three card trick - the rich countries' plan to evade their climate obligations exposed

Friends of the Earth Europe

1st December 2014

As the Climate Convention's COP20 kicks off in Lima today, FOEE reveals the developed countries cunning plan to evade their legal obligations by hiving them off into unofficial, non-binding documents. But the world can stand up to the 'three card tricksters' - forcing them to cut their emissions, and pay the $100s of billions they owe for the climate damage they have caused. more...
Denounced to the police for illegal logging, but no action taken - Señor Adeuzo Mapes Rodríguez, aka 'Capelon'.

Peru: indigenous leaders murdered for protecting their forests

The Ecologist

18th November 2014

As Peru prepares to host UN climate talks, Global Witness exposes the murder of Peruvian eco-defenders - 57 killed since 2002, including indigenous leaders protecting their forests from illegal logging ignored by police and Government. more...
Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity

Daniel Macmillen

26th October 2014

Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier. more...
A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

Peru: Amazon Indians sue government to title indigenous lands

The Ecologist

28th October 2014

Peruvian law requires the government to recognise indigenous peoples's ownership of their lands. Yet 594 communities with claims to 20 million hectares of land remain with no secure title - leaving their forests open to illegal logging, plantations and settlement. Now one village is taking its demands to the courts. more...
Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon

Oliver Tickell

11th September 2014

Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger. more...
Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI.

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer / Survival International

22nd August 2014

Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections. more...
Would you like this to happen to your land? The 'revegetated area' of the Yanacocha mine in Maqui Maqui, Peru, after 10 years of gold mining. Photo: Abramovich / Wikimedia Commons.

Community self-defense against mining mega-projects

Raul Zibechi

8th August 2014

If the state does not defend citizens against the violence and destruction of mining, people and communities must defend themselves, writes Raul Zibechi. And in Peru and Colombia that's exactly what they are doing, re-asserting indigenous control of the land and its resources. more...
Indigenous demonstrators in Peru's Cajamarca province protesting at drinking water contamination from the US-Peruvian Conga gold mine, whose operations have been stalled. Photo: Diego Cupolo.

Despite 'progressive' politics, Latin America's indigenous veins are bleeding

Benjamin Dangl

1st May 2014

Left-wing, progressive politicians hold sway across Latin America, writes Benjamin Dangl. But defying their own 'green' rhetoric, they are committed to mining and other environmentally damaging development. Now they face growing resistance from small farmers and indigenous peoples. more...
The 2014 Goldmine Prize winners - official photo.

2014 Goldman winners - fighting coal, dams, palm oil, fracking, toxic waste

Sophie Morlin-Yron

28th April 2014

Six environment heroes, one from each continent, are honoured for their work today - fighting threats from giant coal mines to forest destruction, fracking, high dams, illegal development and toxic waste dumps. Sophie Morlin-Yron reports. more...
Sunset over the Peruvian Amazon near the Rio Napo. Photo: Ippei Yuge via

Peru - UK oil company to expand in territories of 'isolated' Amazon tribes

David Hill

15 April 2014

UK-based oil and gas company Perenco is expanding its operations in the Peruvian Amazon - in a remote area known to be inhabited by highly vulnerable indigenous people living in 'voluntary isolation'. But as David Hill reports, Perenco denies their existence ... more...
Nanti people on river bank. Photo: © Anonymous / Survival.

Peru: Amazon tribes sacrificed to gas project

Oliver Tickell

27th January 2014

Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of isolated Amazon tribes - who will be put at risk of a massive death toll or extinction from introduced diseases. more...
Nanti people on river bank. Photo: © Anonymous / Survival.

Gas company: Amazon tribes vulnerable to 'massive deaths'

David Hill

20th January 2014

Amazon tribes in Peru's rainforest are at risk of 'massive deaths' from new diseases to which they lack immunity, gas company Pluspetrol admits - as it tries to expand its Camisea gas project into a Reserve for isolated indigenous people. more...


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