• Reuters

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Destruction of the Peruvian Amazon is rising after expanding over more than 145,000 hectares (560 sq. miles) last year — an 80 percent jump from the start of the century, the government said on Tuesday.

Forest is mainly being cleared for farming, said Gustavo Suarez de Freitas, an official in the Environment Ministry.

Peru lost an average 113,000 hectares of forest per year since 2001, when 80,000 hectares were destroyed, he added, citing satellite data.

Peru controls about 13 percent of the carbon-rich Amazon. Its deforestation levels are low compared with neighboring Brazil, where 3,360 sq. miles (8,702 sq. km) of rain forest disappeared last year.

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