Corruption in Peru Aids Cutting of Rain Forest

21 October 2013

Afraid the police would tip off suspects, Francisco Berrospi kept local officers in the dark when he headed into the rain forest as a prosecutor to investigate illegal logging. Sometimes it hardly seemed to matter, though.

Even when he managed to seize trucks, chain saws or illegally harvested trees, judges would often force him to give them back, he said. Bribes were so common, he said, that one anticorruption official openly encouraged him to take them.

“The power of the logging industry here is very strong,” Mr. Berrospi said. “The corruption is terrible.”

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