The Roots of Environmental Crime in the Colombian Amazon

COLOMBIA / 1 SEP 2021

The Amazon Basin is being ravaged at an accelerating rate by organized criminal groups and "legal" enterprises alike, as deforestation soars and biodiversity suffers.

Illegal mining, logging, wildlife trafficking, land grabbing, coca cultivation and other activities stoke rampant deforestation and biodiversity loss across the region, with members of local communities often approached by criminal networks to clear thick swaths of trees or ensnare endangered species.

InSight Crime has joined forces with the Igarapé Institute – an independent think tank headquartered in Brazil, that focuses on emerging development, security and climate issues – to map out environmental crime in the Amazon Basin.

Chapter 1

Executive Summary

COCA / 1 SEP 2021

Emerging from almost six decades of civil conflict, the world’s number one cocaine producer has paid scant attention to environmental crime.

Chapter 2

Deforestation in Colombia's Amazon: Outlining the Problem

COCA / 1 SEP 2021

Deforestation is the most visible face of environmental crime in Colombia’s Amazon.

Chapter 3

Exploring Illegal Mining in Colombia’s Amazon

AUC / 8 SEP 2021

As gold prices have skyrocketed, criminal groups once solely dedicated to the trafficking of drugs and arms have moved into illegal mining.

Chapter 4

A Roaring Trade: Wildlife Trafficking in Colombia’s Amazon

COLOMBIA / 15 SEP 2021

While not as lucrative as illegal mining, wildlife trafficking is still a multimillion-dollar business.

Chapter 5

Corruption at Every Stage: Legal Actors Meet Criminal Networks

COCA / 22 SEP 2021

From ornamental fish trafficking to land grabbing, corruption greases the wheels of every environmental crime motor, feeding deforestation and biodiversity loss in Colombia’s Amazon region.

Chapter 6

A Long Way to Go: Responses to Environmental Crime in Colombia's Amazon

COCA / 29 SEP 2021

The presence of corrupt actors who have a vested interest in allowing environmental crime to happen coupled with an overall lack of capacity, resources and political will to combat related…

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