Peru expels British environmental activist

Peru’s government has announced plans to expel the British environmentalist Brother Paul McAuley from Peru.

McAuley has spoken out in defence of the Amazon rainforest and indigenous rights in Peru for many years. He is president of the Loreto Environmental Network, a grassroots organization based in Iquitos, the largest town in the northern Peruvian Amazon.

McAuley learned of the government’s move on July 1 and has been given just seven days to leave the country. He has lived in Peru for 20 years.

According to a document from the Minister of the Interior, signed 11 June, McAuley has participated in ‘political activities contrary to public order.’

Survival director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘Peru’s government, and particularly President Garcia, are clearly determined to brook no opposition to their plans to carve up the Amazon to oil and gas companies. Paul McAuley has been a persistent thorn in their side. For all the talk of listening to indigenous people after the killings in the Amazon last year, the government has initiated a campaign of persecution against the Indians’ leaders, and now appears to be going after their allies.’