Loggers and Natives Face Off in the Borderlands

September 12th, 2011

posted to National Geographic

In a sign of growing indigenous activism and impatience with ineffectual bureaucrats, communities in Peru and Brazil have joined forces in recent days to patrol a volatile border region rife with illegal loggers and heavily armed gangs of drug-runners.


An illegal logging camp deep in the Peruvian Amazon.    Photo by Scott Wallace

Earlier this month, a joint patrol of Ashéninka natives from the Alto Tamaya River in Peru and Asháninka tribesmen from across the border in Brazil encountered multiple sites inside Peru where loggers appeared to be operating outside legally recognized concessions. The Indians also discovered a logging camp just 200 yards from the border, prompting suspicions that the lumberjacks are poised to snatch valuable timber from Brazilian national territory.


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