Police Announce Record Eco-Trafficking Raid in Mexico

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    • Mexico police announced the results of a three-day raid intended to crack down on wildlife trafficking, reports Reuters. In a nation-wide sweep, police recovered 4,725 wild plants or animals, including rare orchids, parrots, pumas and dozens of other threatened bird and mammal species. Eco-trafficking is one of the most lucrative criminal activities in Latin America: estimates by Interpol say the global trade generates up to $20 billion in profits a year.
    • An NGO in Medellin, known by its Spanish acronym IPC, reports that since 2009, an estimated 2,000 youths have been killed in the city’s gang wars, according to Caracol. Murder rates are highest for those aged between 18 and 25. A march against the violence, partly in reaction to the murder of local hip-hop musician Daniel Alejandro Sierra, who died in the city’s Comuna 13, is set to take place Tuesday afternoon.
    • The U.S has promised more aid to fight drug trafficking in Central America, reports Prensa Libre. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean, Julissa Reynoso, met Monday with Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom, and said that the U.S. plans to create a source of aid, known as “challenge grants,” that will complement the $200 million in aid already promised by President Barack Obama.
    • According to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), written in December 2010 and released last week, an estimated 230,000 people have been displaced in Mexico because of drug violence. Tamaulipas and Chihuahua are thought to be the states most affected, says the report, due to the war between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel.
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