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Money-laundering drug cartels are driving deforestation in Guatemala


Scientist

Money-laundering drug cartels are driving deforestation in Guatemala

By Andrew J Wight An area deforested by ranchers in the San Jose Las Flores community, 300 kilometres north of Guatemala CityCARLOS ALONZO/AFP via Getty ImagesDrug traffickers in Central America have been known to practise “narco-ranching”, in which they launder cash by buying land and cattle, then selling the meat in Mexico for money that…

Money-laundering drug cartels are driving deforestation in Guatemala

By Andrew J Wight

An area deforested by ranchers in the San Jose Las Flores community, 300 km north of Guatemala City

An area deforested by ranchers in the San Jose Las Flores community, 300 kilometres north of Guatemala City

CARLOS ALONZO/AFP via Getty Images

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Drug traffickers in Central America have been known to practise “narco-ranching”, in which they launder cash by buying land and cattle, then selling the meat in Mexico for money that can’t be traced to drug activity. A new analysis suggests this method may be responsible for up to 87 per cent of deforestation in a nature reserve in Guatemala – and the situation may be similar in protected forests along the drug transport corridor countries …

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