Illegal logging: An organized crime that is destroying Latin American forests

Tarabochia, Milton Lopez
Date Written:  2018-03-14
Publisher:  Latinamerica Press
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23119

A recent report indicates that Illegal wood trafficking is the most profitable crime against natural resources, and allows other crimes to flourish, including deforestation, labor exploitation, land invasions, tax evasion, document forgery and state corruption.



The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a US-based organization that monitors the illegal timber trade, shared information with Latinamerica Press about the scale of the illegal timber trade in Latin America.

According to Julia Urrunaga, director of the EIA's Peru Programs, Mexico is one of the countries that purchase the greatest volume of wood "that has a high risk of being illegally obtained as part of the value chain." Almost all of the wood imported by Mexico comes from Brazil and Peru.

Figures published by the IUFRO based on World Bank data for 2006, show that percentage of wood sold in each Latin American country is illegally obtained: Bolivia (80 percent), the Brazilian Amazon rainforest (20 percent-47 percent), Colombia (42 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent).

Navarro points out that the 80 percent figure for Peru has increased since 2006. "I would dare to say that more than 90 percent of the timber sold in Peru has been illegally obtained," said the CIEL researcher.

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