January 12, 2012

Trees stolen from Brazilian Amazon

Peruvian loggers accused of stealing valuable trees from Brazil’s rainforest

Huge rafts of cedar logs were captured by Brazilian authorities as they were being floated down the river Javari towards the main Amazon.  According to Brazil’s Federal Police, these logs had been cut illegally within Brazilian territory by Peruvian loggers.

The river Javari empties out into the Amazon itself (actually called the rio Solimões in this stretch) at a point known as the three-way frontier – where Brazil, Colombia and Peru meet.  The police suggest that the lumber was destined for Islândia, a Peruvian frontier island outpost on the Solimões.  Here, according to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the suggestion is that it would have been processed into timber for export.  From here it would need to travel with the necessary  paperwork.

The usual route for this illegal timber is reported by O Globo to be with Mexican boats into the northern hemisphere.  Evidently, two such boats were discovered smuggling cocaine in recent months, so the police suspect that the illegal logging and the cocaine smuggling are a linked operation.  If true, then the need for Peruvian gangs to find ways to smuggle cocaine is adding value to the trees and putting pressure on the forest.

Sources: O Globo and Mongabay



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