The Amazon’s tri-border regions are under attack.
Across the more than 4,000 kilometers of border that divide Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil, the gold mining rush has threatened the very existence of Indigenous communities and trampled on national parks. Illegal gold mining has soared to become the biggest destroyer of the rainforest, especially when supported by guerrilla groups, business owners, and political elites alike.
Meanwhile, on the border between Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, illegal logging and illicit crops are expanding as quickly as the loggers can tear down the trees. After promising jobs and training to Indigenous residents and gaining their trust, brokers become proxies for the forest management plans which these communities oversee. This allows them to launder illegal timber.
This five-part investigation traces the actors involved in environmental crimes and reveals the supply chains which support the looting of these border areas. To do so, InSight Crime has partnered with the Igarapé Institute, an independent thinktank located in Brazil that focuses on development, security, and climate issues.