Exploring Peru’s Hidden Landing Strip: Unveiling the Dark Side of Indigenous Territory Amid Deforestation and Drug Trafficking

Confirmation of Secret Tracks and Illegal Crops in the Kakataibo Indigenous Reserve in Peru through Photographs

A photograph taken during an overflight on Friday, March 15, 2024, revealed a clandestine landing strip in the Kakataibo Indigenous Reserve, located in Peru. This reserve is intended for indigenous people in isolation and initial contact. The image showed a furrow cutting through the dense green mantle of the Amazon forest, exposing a wide line of land in the middle of the territory. The reserve is situated between the regions of Loreto, Ucayali, and Huánuco.

The flyover also exposed two open pits in the forest and a large amount of illegal coca leaf crops, confirming that drug trafficking activities were encroaching on the territory of the Kakataibo people. Indigenous leaders from the Native Federation of Kakataibo Communities (Fenacoka) participated in the flight and expressed their concern over the situation.

The flight was organized by the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (Aidesep) and included representatives from the Ministry of Culture (Mincul). The purpose of the flight was to verify the extent of illegal activities within the Kakataibo Indigenous Reserve, which was only categorized in 2021.

Satellite images from May 2023 had already shown evidence of clandestine landing strips, unauthorized forest roads, and deforestation in and around

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