Up to 30 trucks are plying on a 32-mile purpose built road illegally carved out in the jungle in Ucayali region, smuggling out tree trunks on an industrial scale
An illegal road snakes around patches cleared by smugglers in Ucayali region, in Peru’s eastern Amazon forest. Photograph: Ronald Reategui
Dan Collyns in Pucallpa
Monday 7 September 2015
Only from the air is it possible to make out the scale of three illegal logging roads which have been carved into Peru’s eastern Amazon, while local authorities in the jungle Ucayali region seemingly turn a blind eye.
Huddled in a twin-engine Cessna 402, the Guardian saw as many as 20 lorries carrying tree trunks plying their way up and down three dirt roads, each estimated to measure up to 32 miles. Dotted by stockpiles of logs and workers’ camps, the roads led to barges on a dock on the Ucayali river, a major tributary of the Amazon, a few dozen miles from the regional capital Pucallpa.
Up to 75m board feet of tropical hardwood may have been illegally harvested and transported in this illegal operation during the past two months, according to a source at Peru’s forestry inspection service Osinfor. The local value of the wood exceeds $30m (£20m), the source added, and much of it could have been laundered and sold onto international markets. Read more.