Environmental crime respects no borders. This investigation — conducted with Igarapé Institute — reveals how wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illicit gold mining, and slash-and-burn land clearance are spreading across five Amazonian countries: Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, and Suriname.

These countries account for some 20 percent of the Amazon Basin and have collectively lost 10 million hectares of forest over the last two decades — an area the size of Portugal.

This in-depth report traces the chain of actors involved in the plunder, from the labor force harvesting trees and digging up gold to the brokers and corrupt officials that launder the ill-gotten materials. It also uncovers the land trafficking schemes that serve settlers who invade forests to sow palm oil and soy, as well as raise cattle, for the benefit of large-scale agribusiness.

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