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Story Publication logo September 13, 2021

A Shortcut to Impunity — Part 3: Yurúa, the District of Illusions (Spanish)


Indigenous Peruvian man wearing Ramones t-shirt

Illegal road construction never stopped even in a pandemic. Drug traffickers are pushing for new...


This story preview was translated from Spanish. To read the Spanish story in full, visit La Mula or Servindi. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

This is the third and final installment of a series chronicling the testimonies of local people from areas affected by illegal logging, drug trafficking, land trafficking, human trafficking and many other problems present throughout the Amazon.

The MAAP Project, an initiative of Conservación Amazónica (ACCA) and Amazon Conservation (ACA) detected that between 2015 and 2018, 3330 kilometers of roads have been constructed in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon, many of them without legal authorizations or impact studies. They have also not been subjected to the prior consultation process. In 2019, according to MAAP, more than 1,500 kilometers were constructed nationwide, and as of October 2020, more than 780 new kilometers of roads had already been constructed.

The increase of these roads in Peru occurred mainly in the regions of Ucayali, Madre de Dios and Loreto. These are stories and testimonies collected in Ucayali during almost a year of work, which become more relevant with the current conflict that some native communities of Tahuanía and Yurúa are already facing, almost all of them victims of invasions and illegal logging. All the testimonies are real, but some names have been changed to protect the sources.

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Yurúa Square. Image by Ivan Brehaut. Peru, 2021.

Fishermen camps. Image by Ivan Brehaut. Peru, 2021.

Image by Ivan Brehaut. Peru, 2021.

A visit to the mayor. Image by Ivan Brehaut. Peru, 2021.

Apiwtxa and his metal arrows. Image by Ivan Brehaut. Peru, 2021.