Ruling, ban, report offer insight on illegal logging


Illegal sawmill in the Peruvian Amazon (Photo by Barbara Fraser)

Placed alongside each other like puzzle pieces, a recent court ruling, a U.S. prohibition on imports from a Peruvian company and a new report provide a revealing glimpse of the persistent problem of illegal logging in the Peruvian Amazon. The unprecedented July 25 Peruvian Superior Court ruling found three people guilty of the illegal cutting and sale of timber from 1,964 hectares (4,853 acres) where mature forest was razed for a cacao plantation in the northeastern Loreto region. Cacao del Perú Norte SAC, which later changed its name to Tamshi SAC, was fined about US$4.7 million. And Rubén Antonio Espinoza, its former general manager, received an eight-year prison sentence for illegal logging and obstruction of justice. Two other former employees received suspended sentences of four years each for illegal logging. Though appeals are expected, the court ruling “is a hopeful sign,” says Julia Urrunaga, head of the Peru... [Log in to read more]

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