Wikileaks: 70 Percent Of Peruvian Timber Felled Illegally

A US embassy cable published by Wikileaks revealed the Peruvian government had knowledge of the illegal harvest and export of up to 90 percent of its mahogany timber.

The secret cable also revealed that Peru’s government is aware that the illegal timber is being ‘laundered’ using ‘document falsification, timber extraction outside the concession boundaries and links to bribes’.

According to Survival International, this news comes just weeks international headlines revealed that that loggers in Peru infiltrated protected areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes, forcing them to flee across the border into Brazil.

In the cable, then-US ambassador to Peru James Struble’s comments paint a damning picture of Peru’s forestry mismanagement and embarrasses Home Depot, Lowe’s and Lumber Liquidators which have all confirmed they use the timber in their products.

From the original cable summary, using Google Translate:

Peru exports the most broad leaf mahogany in the world, a majority of it to the US Much of the in the world, a majority of it to the U.S. Broad leaf mahogany [continues to be an] endangered species under Appendix II of the International endangered species under Appendix II of the International Convention against Trafficking in Endangered Species Convention Against Trafficking in Endangered Species (CITES).

According to Survival International, the unabated illegal logging poses a grave threat to uncontacted tribes who could be wiped out by diseases brought by outsiders or face inter-tribal warfare if they are pushed off their lands.

“The ambassador’s cable shows the alarming extent to which the authorities were aware of illegal logging in Peru, did not admit it, and did little to stop it,” said Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry. “Consumers in the US and Europe simply can’t rely on documents that purport to show Peruvian mahogany is sustainably sourced, as these are clearly not worth the paper they’re written on.”

Take Action! Support The Tribes Of The Amazon

Related Reading:

Illegal Mahogany Logging Endangers Uncontacted Tribes In Peru

Uncontacted Tribes Threatened By Illegal Logging In The Amazon

Commercial Logging Found To Be More Harmful Than Wildfires

Image Credit: Flickr - photogirl7.1


nicola w.
Jane H5 years ago

Go Wikileaks - the ONLY way to get anything done by politicians and super companies who only care about mega profits is to EMBARRASS them.

Janine H.
Janine H6 years ago

Trees and other plants are very important. A world without them and without animals is it that what we want? Hopefully not. In my case, i love trees, plants and animals.
Other animals and plants have to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy everything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten." (Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

anne b.
anne Barusta6 years ago

What would we do without Wikileaks! The US and Peru all know it, but do nothing!!! The least that the US should do is to force labeling of all wood as illigally obtaind, that will at least give the consumer a choice.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

thanks for the article.

Dean P.
Dean P6 years ago

Why does that not surprise me..Wake up people and do something for your own good!

heather g.
heather g6 years ago

We all know what future generations will say about us regarding not putting a stop to the earth's resources being raped. I wish someone as high-profile as Sting or Clooney would run with this... Sting's involved with protecting the Amazon forest.

John E.
John E6 years ago

I can see why the Peruvian govt. might like to see Wikileaks "disappear".
Obviously the US govt is not alone in their desire to see an end to 'Wikileaking".
Can anyone name a govt in this world who has said "Wait a moment , Wikileaks is encouraging transparency in government ... how can that be bad? We all know corruption thrives in secrecy." :-))))
Somehow I don't think I'm going to get an answer on this one !! Strangely enough.

Brian F.
Brian F6 years ago

This is really sad.

Brian F.
Brian F6 years ago

Wow, this is really sad.

Herbert E.
Herbert E6 years ago

this is why governments hate Wikileaks - for telling the truth. I say it again - the Nobel Peace Price for Mr. Assange and Mr. Manning.