Peru is currently being plagued by illegal logging, a truly disgusting thing involving ripping up beautiful portions of the earth and leaving the area devastated. Not only is the logging in Peru an aesthetic crime against the planet, the rainforests of the region are also considered very important in the fight against global warming, and serve as the sole habitat to many species of plants and animals. Put simply, illegal logging is an attack against life. Prosecutor Francisco Berrospi faced heavy corruption when he went into Peruvian rainforest land in an effort to stop illegal logging, often being told by bribed officials to give the tools he confiscated back to the perpetrators. Even with laws passed in 2007 that would seem to slow down the illegal logging industry, a significant amount of lumber continues to be exported, much of it to the United States.
Loggers and corrupted local authorities have found intricate ways of covering up their activities, including the false documenting of Mahogany, a valuable and scarce type of wood, identifying it as a different kind. While the corruption is deep-seated and incredibly frustrating, there are still those fighting as hard as they can against it, both in Peru and here in the U.S. In September, search warrants were issued to Lumber Liquidators, a major American retailer under investigation for the importation of their wood flooring products. While these efforts are serving to at least put a chink in the gears of deforestation, the obstacles are still large, standing in the way of a complete halt. A wider awareness and attention is hoped to be the start of a more complete solution, one that finds a way to ensure the safety of Peruvian trees, and in a larger context, the health of our planet.