British activist is found ‘burned to death’ at a youth hostel in Peru

British environmental activist is found ‘burned to death’ at a youth hostel he ran in the Amazon rain forest

  • Paul McAuley worked in Peru to protect indigenous people against developers  
  • He was found burned to death Tuesday at a youth hostel he ran in the rain forest
  • Six indigenous youths who lived at the hostel are now being questioned by cops 
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A British activist who worked to protect indigenous Amazon tribes from developers has been found burned to death in Peru. 

The remains of Paul McAuley, 71, were discovered at a youth hostel he ran in a poor section of the city of Iquitos, according to the La Salle Christian Brothers, the religious order to which he belonged.

Six indigenous youths who lived in the hostel are now being questioned by police.

Mr McAuley was born in Portsmouth but lived in Peru for more than 20 years. He was awarded an MBE for setting up a school in a poor community of the capital, Lima 


Briton Paul McAuley, 71, who worked to protect indigenous tribes from developers in the Peruvian Amazon, was found burned to death at a youth hostel he ran on Tuesday

Mr McAuley had long worked to embolden Peru’s historically discriminated tribes in the battle against powerful oil and mining interests.

In 2010, the government tried unsuccessful to strip him of his residency for allegedly inciting unrest after he fought attempts to open up the Amazon to drilling. 

In 2004, McAuley founded the Loreto Environmental Network, a group that works on behalf of indigenous groups. 

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He and environmentalists opposed then-President Alan Garcia’s moves to open up the Amazon to unprecedented mining and oil exploration and drilling. 

They also complained that Garcia’s government has done little to impede rampant logging, which they say threatens the existence of indigenous groups.

Environmental activists mourned his passing Tuesday.

‘What tough news. A great man who did a lot for indigenous communities, their rights and the forests,’ tweeted Julia Urrunaga, director of Peru Programs at Environmental Investigation Agency.


The Christian order to which Mr McAuley belonged said he was burned to death at a hostel he founded in a poor part of Iquitos (file image)

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