He was also a vocal critic of British companies’ presence in the rainforest.
Due to his activism, he was called, “Tarzan activist”, “white terrorist” and “incendiary gringo priest.”
“More than its oil, what the west needs are the Amazon’s spiritual energy,” he said.
The police are considering this a criminal case but suicide is also not being ruled out.
"We noticed the body when we were walking around. We want to investigate because he, who has dedicated so many years to us and has given us everything, has been murdered. Yesterday we were talking together and today we see this painful scene," said one of the Indigenous students.
The Environmental Investigation Agency, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) said, “He fought peacefully for Indigenous rights and forests in Peru… his death should be investigated. Rest in peace, Brother Paul, we will continue the fight.”
Peru’s Episcopal conference along with other environmental groups also paid homage to McAuley.