Story

Illegal Logging in Eastern Cambodia

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Journalist Coy Saveuth shows the spot where environmental journalist Taing Try's body was found

Journalist Coy Saveuth shows the spot where environmental journalist Taing Try's body was found. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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Sinary Sany, a Khmer-land activist turned freelance reporter, interviews Coy Saveuth

Sinary Sany, a Khmer-land activist turned freelance reporter, interviews Coy Saveuth, a local journalist. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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A shipment of illegal logs awaits transport

A shipment of illegal logs awaits transport not far from where Taing Try was killed. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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Logs transported across the river by oxcarts on a ferry

The logs Taing Try was searching for would have come across the river by oxcarts on this ferry. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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Blocks of luxury wood near Ratanak Kiri

Teenagers take blocks of luxury wood as they come out of the forest, near Ratanak Kiri. Image by Sinary Sany. Cambodia, 2014.

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Sinary Sany interviews Cheam Mom, Try's widow

Sinary Sany interviews Cheam Mom, Taing Try's widow. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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Cheam Mom holds a picture of her husband, murdered journalist Taing Try

Cheam Mom holds the picture of her husband, murdered journalist Taing Try. Photo credit Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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Journalist Sa Piseth shows one of his articles on illegal logging in the Reaksmey Kom Khmer newspaper

Journalist Sa Piseth shows one of his articles on illegal logging in the Reaksmey Kom Khmer newspaper. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

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Journalist Sa Piseth at home with his son, going through photos of illegal logs

Journalist Sa Piseth at home with his son, going through photos that show illegal logging. Image by Saul Elbein. Cambodia, 2014.

In the backwoods of Cambodia, logging is ostensibly illegal—but it's also a big business, carried out with gusto by the military and police, as well as ordinary citizens who see the forests vanishing and want a piece of the action. For rural journalists, covering the logging trade is one of the most dangerous things they can do. In October 2014, journalist Taing Try was killed trying to track down a shipment of illegal logs; a few weeks later, Saul Elbein and his fixer Sinary Sany set out for the town where Taing Try was shot.