Mario’s nervousness is evident on the other end of the phone as he speaks about how three men tried to stab him in November 2020. This wasn’t the first time something like this happened; Mario says he has faced harassment and threats for more than a year for denouncing deforestation in his village, the Indigenous community of Santa Martha in central Peru. Another situation allegedly occurred in 2019 when he unintentionally approached an airstrip used to transport coca while walking through a field near town. Mario recalls how a group of strangers cornered him and issued a stark warning. “We’re going to kill your whole family,” Mario claims they said. Mario says that every so often he receives anonymous calls, the voices on the other end warning him that he is being watched and he should not report the illegal fields of coca that are becoming more and more common. However, Mario says this hasn’t deterred him from making reports to the Native Federation of Cacataibo Communities (Fenacoca) .  He believes this is why, in November, three men surrounded him and tried to stab him. He says they likely intended his death to look like the result of a street brawl and that he’d likely be dead if his relatives weren’t close at hand to chase off his attackers. Coca plantations spread out from the edges of the native community of Santa Martha. The situation has worsened during the pandemic. Photo courtesy of members of the community of Santa Martha. Mario lives in…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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