Julio Cusurichi and the plight of Peru’s indigenous peoples

April 24th, 2007

By C.J. Schexnayder – Kephblog

On Sunday, Julio Cusurichi – a Shipiro Indian from the Madre de Dios region of Peru – was awarded the Goldman Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for environmental activism.

Cusurichi was recognized for his work with the Native Federation of Madre de Dios, known as FENAMAD, in creating a 3,000-square-mile reserve in the Southern Peruvian jungle for tribes that choose to have no contact with the outside world.

Loggers looking to harvest valuable old-growth mahogany have encroached on these peoples in recent years, and the result has been devastating to the tribes. They are vulnerable to outside disease and reports of violence against them are becoming more common.

My story on the award and the problem of illegal mahogany logging in Peru, The mahogany wars of Peru’s rain forests, is in Sunday’s edition of The San Francisco Chronicle.

But there is a lot more to this story than what I was able to fit in the confines of one newspaper article. Read more here, or read the original article.