While still largely intact, the Alto Purús complex is threatened by deforestation, including road construction, drug cultivation and production, and the expanding agricultural frontier. In recent years it has come under siege by illegal loggers intent on cutting Peru’s largest remaining stands of mahogany, among the world’s rarest and most valuable timber species. The logging is detrimental to the ecosystem, exploits the local communities, and is an immediate threat to the survival of the still-isolated people in the forest interior.
Entire tribes have been wiped out by illnesses brought by loggers and other outsiders, and violent conflicts are increasing as these hunters and gatherers struggle in a last-ditch effort to protect what remains of their traditional lands and way of life.
Puerto Esperanza – Iñapari Highway
A bill submitted to congress in August 2016 proposes construction of a road through the Park, Purús Communal Reserve and Madre de Dios Territorial Reserve for isolated people. The region’s indigenous groups oppose the road, believing it would prove disastrous to the region’s ecological integrity and the way of life of its isolated and settled indigenous inhabitants alike. A small but powerful group of mestizo religious leaders and landowners has been working to generate support among the region’s indigenous communities through an aggressive and slanderous campaign against the Park, SERNANP and conservation groups. The highway’s main proponent is Congressman Carlos Tubino from Ucayali. He is supported on the ground by the local Catholic priest based in Puerto Esperanza.
UAC Posts about the Highway
Poster showing the impacts of the proposed highway Map of proposed road Letters from the Alto Purús indigenous federation, FECONAPU, rejecting the road and demanding the expulsion of road advocate and priest, Miguel Piovesán
VIEW ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND INFORMATION ON PROPOSED HIGHWAY
Declaration from Purús Tribes Reiterating Their Opposition to Highway
Poster showing the impacts of the proposed highway
Map of proposed road
Letters from the Alto Purús indigenous federation, FECONAPU, rejecting the road and demanding the expulsion of road advocate and priest, Miguel Piovesán