Forest traditions vs corrupt business
Vast palm oil plantations scar the riverbank opposite the village of Santa Clara De Uchunya. This destruction of forest habitat is also destroying the ancestral territory of indigenous people in Peru’s Ucayali region – but local leaders who challenge it face death threats. Powerful foreign investors bribed former local officials to override regulations, and took ownership of 12,000 hectares of rainforest in the area, which they then destroyed for profit.
Proética – Transparency International in Peru – worked with investigative journalists to uncover the role of corruption in deforestation, and is now monitoring legal investigations. We aim to help guarantee traditional ways of life for indigenous people, and serve justice to those responsible for the illegal destruction of the rainforest. Local officials claim there is already enough protected forest, and that poor indigenous communities need economic development. Yet the plantations bring villagers no financial benefit. Instead, the ecosystem has been destroyed and traditional lifestyles made impossible. Despite ongoing intimidation, the community will continue to fight – with Proetica’s support – for their priceless ancestral forest.
View the video:
Deforestation, land grabs, exploitation: in the province of Ucayali in Peru, corruption is widespread. International investors have snapped up huge tracts of land using dubious methods that leave local farmers destitute.