Chasing the illegal loggers looting the Amazon forest

By Richard Conniff
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The cargo ship Yacu Kallpa rode impatiently at anchor off Iquitos, Peru, a ramshackle city on a bend in the broad, turbulent waters of the Amazon River. …The captain and crew had a long run ahead, nearly 2,300 miles down the Amazon, then another 4,000 miles north to Tampico, Mexico, and finally to Houston, with lumber harvested from the Amazon rain forest. It was a route the ship and its predecessors had run hundreds of times for more than 40 years, hauling millions of pounds of timber at a time, to supply lumberyards and big-box stores across the United States with the ingredients for the floors, decks, and doors of the typical American home. …The vast scale of illegal logging in the Peruvian Amazon has long been an open secret. Government officials didn’t care, and until recently there was little anyone else could do to stop it

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