If you are planning a trip to the jungles of Peru in the near future, you may want to check up on the news. One of our correspondents was slated to visit the Peruvian Amazon to review Inkaterra’s jungle lodge there, but we’ve postponed the visit due to clashes in the region. Many of the roads are blocked and some of the clashes have turned deadly.
In theory you can still fly in, but should you? Besides the safety factor, there’s a moral issue at play here. Here are some sobering stats from a Reuters article: “The total area being granted to multinational companies covers more than 70 percent of the Peruvian Amazon, according to a study by scientists at Duke University. At least 58 of the 64 areas are on lands titled to indigenous peoples, it said.”
It’s a complicated issue (and the terms of a free trade agreement with the U.S. are partly to blame), but it’s hard not to see the indigeneous peoples’ point when they say their land is being grabbed and the environment spoiled for the sake of oil and gas drilling. We’ve seen this movie before, especially in Brazil, and it never has a happy ending. Once the rainforest is cleared, it’s gone forever. Here’s some scientific investigation of where this is all headed.
Keep an eye on the news if you’re heading to Peru. This should stay confined to the Amazon regions, but if all indigeneous people start to rally to the cause, the unrest could spread.
Links gleaned from the recent newsletter of South American Explorers, a publication geared to travelers of modest means, but a great source of info for what’s really happening on the ground.