Peru Logging Opponents Slain

Illegal loggers are suspected in the brutal deaths and dismemberment last week of four indigenous Peruvians who opposed their activities.

Outspoken environmental activist Edwin Chota Valera and three other men from the Ashaninka community were killed near the border with Brazil, in an area so remote that word of the slayings only reached authorities in the capital of Lima on Sunday.

The men were attacked as they returned to their home on the Upper Tamaya River in the Amazonian rainforest region of Ucayali.

Chota had frequently received death threats from illegal loggers. He was working to remove them from Ashaninka lands as the community attempted to reclaim their ancestral territory.

The World Bank estimates that 80 percent of timber exported from Peru is illegally harvested.

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