Chilean environmental lawyer Miguel Fredes had a problem. He was in charge of a lawsuit against a group of loggers, businessmen, and politicians who were accused of logging alerces – rare trees that resemble California redwoods. Timber from alerce trees that were cut down before 1974 or that have died naturally can legally be sold, and it commands a high price for use in construction and furniture. But Fredes suspected that the group was selling freshly cut wood to buyers in the United States,...

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