Quinto Inuma: Peru environmentalist who fought for Amazon shot dead

Picture of killed indigenous leader Quinto Inuma and felled trees
Image caption,Indigenous leader Quinto Inuma received death threats over efforts to protect the Amazon from illegal logging

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa

BBC News

A Peruvian environmental activist has been shot dead after receiving death threats for his battle to defend the Amazon rainforest, officials say.

Quinto Inuma, a leader of the Kichwa community, was killed in a remote part of the northern region of San Martin.

Peru’s government expressed “deep regret” over his death in a statement, describing the attack as “cowardly”.

There have been frequent clashes in the region between indigenous people and illegal loggers.

Mr Inuma had faced threats over his efforts to protect the Amazon against illegal deforestation.

His son said he was ambushed as he was travelling back by boat after addressing a meeting of women environmental campaigners.

Hooded attackers blocked the river with a tree trunk before firing multiple shots.

“We deeply regret the death of Quinto Inuma Alvardo… as a consequence of a cowardly attack of which he was victim in the afternoon of Wednesday, 29 November,” said a statement written jointly by Peru’s environment, interior, justice and culture ministries.

The national police is investigating the matter, it added.

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The Mission in Peru of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) condemned the killing and called on authorities to carry out a prompt investigation.

Peru’s national human rights centre says at http://blejermot.com/ least 30 environmental activists and community leaders have been killed since 2020.

Local environmental organisations say the government does not do enough to protect local communities.

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