The Roots of Environmental Crime in the Peruvian Amazon

COCA / 2 JUN 2022

Peru’s 70 million hectares of Amazon forest are being razed at an alarming rate. This investigation reveals the range of culprits behind the devastation: from illegal gold miners who leave behind pools of poisonous mercury, to poor locals coopted into harvesting valuable trees, to a complex web of front companies, agribusiness subsidiaries, corrupt officials and criminal groups that prosper from the Amazon’s destruction.

Conducted with the Igarapé Institute – a Brazil-based think tank devoted to development, security and climate issues –  the six-part series also unravels the crucial links in the chain of specific environmental crimes contributing to forest loss, including illegal logging, illicit gold mining, coca cultivation, wildlife trafficking and the usurping of lands for cattle farms and booming agricultural industries.

Peru’s Amazon, which covers nearly half of the Andean country, is rich in biodiversity and critical to the capture of carbon, which mitigates global warming. Political instability and corruption, however, have made protecting it much more difficult. Meanwhile, demand from international markets for wood, gold and other forest products increases the threat to Indigenous communities, animal habitats and protected reserves.

Chapter 1

Money Grows on Trees: Environmental Crime in Peru's Amazon

COCA / 2 JUN 2022

Peru’s Amazon, which covers nearly half of the Andean country, is rich in biodiversity and critical to the capture of carbon, which mitigates global warming. Political instability and corruption, however,…

Chapter 2

Felled and Burned: Deforestation in Peru's Amazon

COCA / 2 JUN 2022

Rich in resources, Peru's Amazon is being plundered at an accelerated rate, losing more than 26,000 square kilometers of forest since 2001.

Chapter 3

A Toxic Trade: Illegal Mining in Peru's Amazon

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

Illegal gold mining drives the destruction of Peru's Amazon, where fortune seekers strip forests and leave behind poisonous pools of mercury.

Chapter 4

Poaching Grounds: Wildlife Trafficking in Peru's Amazon

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

Peru – rich in biodiversity – is a hotspot for the wildlife trade. Reptiles, fish and birds are all trafficked locally and internationally.

Chapter 5

Corruption at Every Level: Who Profits from Destruction of Peru's Amazon

ELITES AND CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

From unchecked agricultural development to wildlife trafficking, corruption greases the wheels of every environmental crime in the Peruvian Amazon.

Chapter 6

State Resilience: Little Political Will for Protecting Peru's Amazon

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

While there are some efforts to build resilience, including the passing of new legislative frameworks and some other signs of political willingness to tackle the problem, there is still a…

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 6 DEC 2011

In just the past week, the armed forces were given, or are on the verge of getting, new internal security…

BRAZIL / 29 MAR 2021

Authorities in Brazil have seized thousands of live freshwater fish native to the country’s Amazon region that are commonly seen…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 15 FEB 2011

Peruvian NGO Capital Humano y Social Alternativo reported on new strategies employed by Peru’s human traffickers, a sign…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…

icon #SupportFreePress
image

Support Our Work

Investigating organized crime is an expensive and often risky enterprise. Reaching primary sources and getting the real story involve extensive fieldwork. Please donate. Every dollar supports our mission.

DONATE NOW image