Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Environmental Crime

Environmental crimes encompass a wide spectrum of illicit activities, including illegal wood, wildlife trafficking, illegal mining and land grabbing.

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Sophisticated Schemes Revealed in Costa Rica Gold Ring

Raids across Costa Rica have exposed a web of front companies filtering illegally mined gold to the United States, in the kind of multimillion-dollar laundering...
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Environmental Fines Become Flashpoint for Brazil’s Deforestation Crisis

The abandonment of environmental fines for illegal deforestation in Brazil is leading to a political scandal, with a cabinet minister potentially being removed from...
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Venezuela’s Birds Smuggled to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Beyond

Shocking images of dead birds floating in the Caribbean have exposed a thriving illegal wildlife trade between Venezuela and Trinidad and...
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Coronavirus Has Not Slowed Looting of Latin America’s Maritime Species

The pace of eco-trafficking in Latin America does not appear to have slowed under the coronavirus pandemic, with the smuggling of maritime species being...
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3 Reasons Why US is Epicenter for Big Cat Breeding, Trading

Netflix’s “Tiger King” fixated our gaze on the outlandish antics of Exotic Joe, but if you squint your eyes in just the right way, you could catch a glimpse...
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Ex-FARC Mafia Drives Park Rangers Out of Colombia’s Amazon

After receiving threats, park rangers in Colombia have abandoned areas of the Amazon that they were protecting. Now these territories could fall increasingly under...
Tangara cabeciazul hallado en una caja en el aeropuerto internacional de Lima, Perú
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Songbirds to Raptor Eggs, the Looting of Latin America’s Bird Species

The case of an infamous Irish trafficker who is facing extradition to Brazil for stealing peregrine falcon eggs has brought attention to the diverse ways in which...
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Butterflies, Beetles and Spiders: Costa Rica’s Smaller Eco-trafficking Targets

While eco-trafficking in Costa Rica has largely been associated with turtles, recent raids have shown how its butterflies, beetles, wasps and spiders can also fetch...
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Illegal Fishing Threatens Food Security in Bolívar, Colombia

Destruction of wildlife spurred by illegal fishing in the Ciénaga de Simití swampland in the northern Colombia department of Bolívar has sparked a full-blown...
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How Drug Traffickers Became Masters of Honduras’ Forests

Illegal timber and drug trafficking are closely linked in northeastern Honduras, a major cocaine corridor in this region. There, criminal groups have savvily...
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Bolivia Forestry Officials Profit from Harvest of Illegal Wood

Officials within the agency entrusted with protecting Bolivia's forests falsified data and provided documents legitimizing the illegal harvesting of timber, a...
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Report Finds Peru Timber Trade Taken Over by Criminal Networks

A new report offering a detailed statistical breakdown of Peru’s timber trade exposes the staggering levels of illegality that have contaminated the country’s...