November 27, 2013

Amazon Under Attack

It has been one hell of a summer. The Asháninka have been under attack.

Assassinations, Loggers, Land grabs, Narcos, Cocaine smuggling, Gun Battles

Their forest is more at-risk than ever.

Mauro Pio Peña was an Asháninka leader from the village of Nuevo Amanecer Hawai. This summer he was assassinated after he kicked loggers out of his village’s territory. The hitmen are believed to have been paid £1,100. This is the price of an indigenous leader’s life who defended his people.

With Mauro’s murder, the situation has escalated rapidly with conflicts breaking out between the Asháninka and colonists who continue to try and seize indigenous lands.

And that’s before we even get on to the narcos. The Ené Valley is fast becoming the largest cocaine-producing region of Peru, with planes leaving the region everyday laden with coca paste.

But with their way of life depending entirely on the forest, and cocaine production leading directly to deforestation, Cool Earth’s partner villages are adamant not to lose their forest for cocaine.

“The forest is life for us.” Macario López Manipe, Parijaro.

Defences are going up throughout the Valley and the Asháninka are desperately trying to drive the loggers, land grabbers and narcos from Asháninka territory.

When Cool Earth began working in the Ené Valley in 2008 we knew the forest was under threat. We had no idea it would become ground zero for the fight against deforestation. And yet with your support our partner communities have formed an impenetrable shield to protect the forest.


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