Roberto Carlos Pacheco Villanueva was the son of well-known environmentalist Demetrio Pacheco.
Pacheco Villanueva had a concession of forest which runs parallel to the Interoceánica highway in Madre de Dios.
On 11 September, 2020, Pacheco Villanueva went out to inspect the forest. When he hadn’t returned several hours later his father and two of the men who worked with him went out to look for him and found his body. He had been shot dead and the body had been dumped in a ditch near some farmland that bordered on their property.
Not far from the spot where the body was found the police found an abandoned jeep that had no number places or chassis registration number.
Both Pacheco Villanueva and his father had received multiple threats since 2012 when land grabbers and illegal loggers started moving into the area. According to his father the last threat Pacheco Villanueva received stated: “You are wasting your time. You are the one who has to disappear from around here.”
The intimidation came from a group of approximately six people that he had found inside the concession and whom his son had challenged for having cut down some of his trees, says Pacheco.
The invasions of the concession of 842 hectares of forest awarded to Pacheco began in 2012. This land, dedicated mainly to the cultivation of chestnuts, has been in his name since 1995. “Since they began to invade, in 2012, I have made at least eight complaints for deforestation,” says Pacheco.
It was because of this work in defense of the forests of Madre de Dios that Pacheco became vice president of the Management Committee of the Tambopata National Reserve, made up of a group of environmentalists and owners of forest concessions located in the buffer zone of this protected area. All of them have been openly confronting illegal mining, illegal logging and land invasions for years.