Legend murdered to prevent illegal loggers' report


Was the murder of top New Zealand yachtsman Sir Peter Blake, 54, who was shot dead by gun-toting ‘pirates’ in the River Amazon in 2002, a planned killing?

According to a respected Blue Water yachtsman, whose name is known to me, and who was cruising in Brazilian waters in recent months, it was. ‘I heard it from two different sources while myself and my wife were cruising there,’ my informant tells me. ‘One of those sources was a female journalist from a German news organisation.’

So the story goes Blake was about to blow the whistle on companies involved in illegal logging of the South American country’s rain forest. Before he had the chance to do so he was killed.

Certainly illegal logging was a major problem in Brazil at the time of his death: the country had been losing tens of thousands of square kilometres of rain forest, an area the size of Greece, in the previous few years.

And the year after his death Brazil’s environment enforcement agency, Ibama, arrested 17 loggers who had allegedly cut down 10,000 hectares of prime timber.