Peruvian authorities investigate death of British brother in Amazon

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Peruvian authorities are investigating the death of British De La Salle Brother Paul McAuley, whose burned body was found April 2, 2019, in a home he founded for indigenous students in Iquitos, in the northeastern Amazonian region. McAuley is pictured in an undated photo. (CNS/courtesy La Salle)

Lima, Peru — Peruvian authorities are investigating the death of British De La Salle Brother Paul McAuley, whose burned body was found April 2 in a home he founded for indigenous students in Iquitos, in the northeastern Amazonian region.

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In a statement issued the same day, Peru's bishops called for authorities to clarify the events surrounding his death and find those responsible.

McAuley, 71, was an environmental activist and an advocate for indigenous students who traveled from remote Amazonian communities to attend college in Iquitos.

He worked in Nigeria and Rome before moving in 1995 to Peru, where he founded a school for low-income students in a shantytown on the north side of Lima, the capital. In 2000, he moved to Iquitos, where he worked with indigenous students and organized an environmental defense network.

He was outspoken about oil pollution and deforestation in the Amazon. In 2010, the Peruvian government refused to renew his Peruvian residency, although the decision was reversed after public protests by church groups and other supporters.


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