Group seeks probe of Peruvian timber exports
An environmental group has petitioned the U.S. government to ask Peru to investigate alleged fraud and corruption in its exports of protected timber species. The request from the nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) came in mid-April, shortly after the group released a report on the “laundering” of illegal timber from the Peruvian Amazon for export to the United States.
The petition, filed with the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, marks the first test of provisions of the Forest Sector Annex of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, a free-trade pact between the two countries that took force three years ago. The annex allows U.S. officials to ask Peru to verify shipments of timber from species protected under the Conventional on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites). The EIA, which has offices in London and Washington, requested a review of shipments by two companies, Maderera Bozovich and Maderera Vulcano, and of wood from 77 timber concessions suspended by Peruvian authorities.