Peru’s government has secretly admitted that 70-90% of its mahogany exports were illegally felled, according to a US embassy cable revealed by Wikileaks.Quote has been trimmed
Furthermore, 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’.
The revelation will embarrass several US DIY stores, who have all admitted to Survival that they continue to import Amazonian hardwoods. Home Depot, Lowe’s and Lumber Liquidators have all confirmed they use the timber in their products.
Then-US ambassador to Peru James Struble quoted ‘unofficial INRENA estimates’ in the 2006 cable. (INRENA was the government’s Natural Resources Institute).
The ambassador’s comments paint a damning picture of Peru’s forestry mismanagement. According to the cable, the US imported 88% of Peru’s mahogany exports in 2005, highlighting its significant role in the country’s extensive illegal logging trade. The majority of Peru’s endangered mahogany remains destined for US shores today.
The news comes just weeks after illegal logging in Peru made international headlines after it emerged that loggers have infiltrated protected areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes, forcing them to flee across the border into Brazil.
Wow, I just had a moment of fleeting respect for wikileaks.