The murder of indigenous activists is drawing attention to the massive trade in illegal forest products from Peru. The vast majority of logging activities in the country are illegal. Although Peru has a large rainforest current rates of illegal logging are unsustainable.
According to a 2012 World Bank report, as much as 80 percent of Peru’s logging exports are harvested illegally. Sophisticated wood laundering schemes help to bring this wood to international markets. This involves doctored papers that make the wood appear legal.
The US is among the nations that buy this illegal timber. According to a 2012 report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, at least 40 percent of cedar exports to the US include illegally logged timber. The wood from a single old-growth mahogany tree can earn more than $11,000 on the US lumber market.
The trade in illegal forest products, particularly cedar and mahogany continues. A recent operation conducted by Peruvian customs found large quantities of illegally logged timber destined for export.
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