Peru lost four tribal leaders recently when they were assassinated as they went to a meeting to discuss possible options for putting a stop to illegal logging. The four men, from the Amazonian Ashaninki village, were murdered close to the Brazilian border. Outspoken anti-logging activist Edwin Chota was one of the four. He had received several death threats from illegal loggers and it is these loggers who observers think were behind the murders of the four men.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxZRjV1dL88]David Salisbury, a University of Richmond professor, said that Chota was upsetting the “status quo.” Salisbury had been advising Chota for ten years and knew the illegal loggers were on the record for wanting Chota removed.
The location of the killings was so remote that the killings, which happened on September 1, didn’t find its way out of the Amazon until days ago.
AIDESEP, Peru’s main native group voiced anger at police and the legislators for their lack of action despite repeated efforts to get law enforcement to protect the murdered men.
As reported in the Argentina Independent, the World Bank reported in 2012 that roughly 80 percent of Peru timber harvesting and exports occur because of illegal logging operations.