In Peru, firing of forest official called “arbitrary"


Luis Alberto Gonzales-Zúñiga is contesting his firing, arguing it must be approved by Serfor’s board of directors. (Photo courtesy of Alberto Gonzales-Zúñiga)

Environmental groups and several indigenous organizations have protested the firing on June 5, World Environment Day, of Luis Alberto Gonzales-Zúñiga, who had headed Peru’s National Forest and Wildlife Service (Serfor) since February 2019. The Agriculture Ministry’s announcement of his removal indicated the reason was that Gonzales-Zúñiga no longer had the confidence of ministry officials. Gonzales-Zúñiga said in March that top ministry officials had asked him to resign and did not give him the reasons in writing, as he requested. But after he was fired, he engaged in a public dispute with ministry officials over proposed changes being considered at the time of his dismissal to the implementing regulations of a forestry and wildlife law enacted in 2011. He told reporters the new rules would make it easier for property owners to change land-use status from forest to agriculture and receive permission to raze the trees, a... [Log in to read more]

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