Report highlights logging threat to uncontacted tribes

May 10, 2007

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A recent investigation has found evidence of large-scale illegal logging in remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon inhabited by uncontacted tribal people.

The report, ‘The race for Peru’s last mahogany trees’ by US NGO Round River Conservation Studies, documents the existence of logging camps in two reserves set aside for uncontacted Indians.

The report also reveals that a network of roads used to transport the illegal wood has been built across one of these reserves, and that the number of violent encounters between loggers and uncontacted tribes has increased in recent years with deaths on both sides.

Further illegal logging was uncovered in the Alto Purus National Park, also inhabited by isolated Indians.

‘The illegal logging threatens the survival of the migratory hunters and gatherers, some of the last uncontacted Indigenous people left on earth,’ the report says. ‘Despite being excellent marksmen, their arrows are simply no match for the loggers’ guns.’

The uncontacted tribes threatened, including the Mashco-Piro and Mastanahua, are highly vulnerable to any form of contact because they do not have immunity to outsiders’ diseases. The vast majority of the timber is exported to the USA.

To download the report go to Round River’s website and scroll to the bottom:

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru