Social and Environmental Conflicts in the Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon remained relatively undisturbed until the 1860s, with higher immigration and the extraction of raw materials only beginning in the second half of the century. As a result of the rubber boom (1880–1910), many ethnic groups became extinct. During the 20th century, the exploitation of mahogany, cedar, and other useful trees, the cultivation of various plants and also, in some regions, gold mining began. In the last decades of the 20th century, the extraction of oil and other raw materials as well as the construction of roads and infrastructure led to a significant reduction in forest areas. Further developments are planned for the upcoming years. Illegal gold mining, oil extraction and deforestation are expected to intensify, with increasing local social resistance, one of the most prominent examples being the bloody conflict between the Peruvian army and local ethnic groups in 2009 in the city of Bagua. A growing number of non-governmental organizations are protesting against the processes taking place in the region. The purpose of this study is to provide a background for the understanding of these processes and present the current situation.