Palm oil in Peru


Palm oil, plantations in Peru devour the Amazon

Palm oil production plays a primary role in deforestation of green lungs in the planet’s tropics. In Southeast Asia, (1) as in Africa and Latin America. Not only at the center, in Mexico and Colombia, but also in Peru where oil palm devours the Amazon.

Peru currently holds about 74 million hectares of virgin forest, accounting for 70 percent of the country’s land area. Oil palm has already devoured 60,000 hectares of Amazon rainforest, and will soon overwhelm another 113,000 hectares, (2) due to projects activated by Grupo Palmas and the network of companies set up by Dennis Melka, an investor linked to large agribusiness interests in Malaysia.

The mechanism is always the same, expropriation of territories from the people who have inhabited them for centuries and millennia, (2) deforestation and detour of waterways to serve new monocultures, planting and massive use of neurotoxic pesticides banned in the tropical fat destination countries. Which is then refined at high temperatures, causing the formation of genotoxic and carcinogenic contaminants.

Environmental devastation
, staggering greenhouse gas emissions, land conflicts, and exploitation of workers, including minors. For the unscrupulous profit of palmocrats, the few industrial giants that produce the green gold and those that turn it into ‘biodiesel’ or food ingredient.

The report‘Deforestación por definición‘ (4) highlights the danger of destruction of more than 150 thousand hectares of primary forests. However, we are not prepared for this, it is necessary to work in a multi-sectoral policy that integrates environmental, social and geographical criteria,” he explained.

‘Peruvian authorities have misinterpreted the definition of ‘forests’ in the Forest Law to allow the deforestation of thousands of hectares of primary Amazon forest.’

(Julia Urrunaga, director of programs at EIA, Environmental Investigation Agency)

Why does the oil palm devour the Peruvian Amazon? Why global demand for palm oil continues to grow, despite oppositions from European consumers. And available land in Southeast Asia is not enough to meet demand. ‘This pushes large producers to aggressively seek new areas,” Julia Urrunaga explains. ‘And Peru is a favorable country for cultivation, both because of its geography and because the country has a policy aimed at promoting palm oil.’

Aceite de palma, ya basta!

Dario Dongo


(1) See Borneo and Papua New Guinea. In addition to the operations conducted by Malaysian manufacturers in all parts of the globe, tropical latitudes

(2) In the Loreto, Ucayali and San Martin areas.

(3) So-called land robbery (land grabbing), carried out by violence or through bribery of local governments and fraudulent acts

(4) Advertising progress, in the video dedicated by the NGO Sum of Us to Doritos, the famous snack of the PepsiCo group, at

(5) A study carried out by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Oxfam Perú and the Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Amazonía Peruana (Aidesep)