Title

Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Its Relation to Transnational Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean

Author Information

Beccar Varela

Date of Publication

2020 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

Transnational organized crime, Latin America, illegal wildlife trafficking, Caribbean, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay

Description

"Latin America and the Caribbean have an exceptional natural wealth. The particularities of eco- regions such as the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes Mountains and the Caribbean Coral Reefs, among others, generate a vast diversity of ecosystems, species and resources. The region plays a fundamental role in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking, as its high levels of biodiversity and endemic species make it a strategic point for criminal networks. The illegal trafficking of species is categorized as the third most lucrative criminal activity and represents one of the greatest dangers to biodiversity. Such criminal activity is often intrinsically related to drug and arms trafficking. However, wildlife crime is often overlooked. The rise of this criminal activity is due to the growing expansion of the illegal market for wild species at international level, which is fed by a constant demand for species, particularly those categorized as endangered or that are economically important. This report provides an analysis of the intersection between administrative and criminal law with respect to illegal trafficking of wildlife. Specifically, it addresses the current situation regarding illegal trafficking of species in certain countries in Latin America, the link and challenges between the use of environmental, administrative and criminal laws, and proposes recommendations for strengthening the use of existing jurisdictional environmental laws, regulations and sanctions, and cooperation within the region and beyond, including the U.S. Discussions addressing the primary regulatory instruments and practical experiences associated with combatting illegal wildlife trafficking are based on contributions from legal experts from the following jurisdictions: Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and the United States. The conclusions in this document were obtained from the analysis of the applicable legal frameworks in each jurisdiction, as well as interviews with NGO officials as well as administrative, criminal and police authorities in each of the jurisdictions."

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Its Relation to Transnational Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean

"Latin America and the Caribbean have an exceptional natural wealth. The particularities of eco- regions such as the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes Mountains and the Caribbean Coral Reefs, among others, generate a vast diversity of ecosystems, species and resources. The region plays a fundamental role in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking, as its high levels of biodiversity and endemic species make it a strategic point for criminal networks. The illegal trafficking of species is categorized as the third most lucrative criminal activity and represents one of the greatest dangers to biodiversity. Such criminal activity is often intrinsically related to drug and arms trafficking. However, wildlife crime is often overlooked. The rise of this criminal activity is due to the growing expansion of the illegal market for wild species at international level, which is fed by a constant demand for species, particularly those categorized as endangered or that are economically important. This report provides an analysis of the intersection between administrative and criminal law with respect to illegal trafficking of wildlife. Specifically, it addresses the current situation regarding illegal trafficking of species in certain countries in Latin America, the link and challenges between the use of environmental, administrative and criminal laws, and proposes recommendations for strengthening the use of existing jurisdictional environmental laws, regulations and sanctions, and cooperation within the region and beyond, including the U.S. Discussions addressing the primary regulatory instruments and practical experiences associated with combatting illegal wildlife trafficking are based on contributions from legal experts from the following jurisdictions: Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and the United States. The conclusions in this document were obtained from the analysis of the applicable legal frameworks in each jurisdiction, as well as interviews with NGO officials as well as administrative, criminal and police authorities in each of the jurisdictions."