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New Amazon highway 'would put Peru's last lost tribes at risk'

Eco-campaigners clash with developers over plan to build 125-mile road through rainforest

Source:  Copyright 2012, Observer
Date:  June 30, 2012
Byline:  Gethin Chamberlain
Original URL: Status ONLINE


A fierce row has broken out over a controversial plan to drive a road through pristine Amazon rainforest, imperilling the future of some of the world's last uncontacted tribes.

The 125-mile (200km) road would pass through the Alto Purús national park in Peru, connecting a remote area to the outside world but opening up the most biologically and culturally important area of the upper Amazon to logging, mining and drug trafficking. Opponents of the plan fear it will threaten the existence of uncontacted tribes such as the Mashco-Piro. The first detailed photographs of members of the tribe made headlines around the world earlier this year after they were spotted on a riverbank.

The majority indigenous population of the region appears to be largely united in its opposition to the road, which would run parallel to the Brazilian border, connecting the towns of Puerto Esperanza and Iñapari. Conservationists warn it would cause irreparable harm to the environment ...

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