HomeNewsBriefCattle Rustling A Growing Concern in Nicaragua
BRIEF

Cattle Rustling A Growing Concern in Nicaragua

CONTRABAND / 19 JUN 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Nicaragua's government is facing growing calls to combat illegal livestock trafficking, an activity that frequently goes hand in hand with other types of organized crime in the region. 

On June 17, several Nicaraguan business associations released a joint document calling for the government to investigate contraband cattle trafficking in “blind spots” along the country’s borders with Honduras and Costa Rica, reported ACAN-EFE.

Nicaragua's chamber of beef exports, known as CANICARNE, has said cattle rustling is costing the state $276 million in lost tax revenue, according to La Prensa (see La Prensa's graphic on the costs of cattle rustling below). Some 300,000 heads of cattle had been illegally removed from Nicaragua between 2013 to 2014, according to documents that CANICARNE reportedly sent to the government. 

Nicaragua cattle trafficking

Meanwhile, CANICARNE president Raul Barrios has said that due to cattle rustling, Nicaragua's slaughterhouses are now processing 50 percent fewer cattle. The chamber's vice president has demanded a meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to discuss the issue, saying the government's response to the problem has been inadequate.

According to a 2011 census, there are 4.12 million heads of cattle in Nicaragua.

InSight Crime Analysis

Cattle rustling is an ongoing problem in Nicaragua and one that merits more attention, especially given that elsewhere in the region, traffickers have used the cattle trade as a way to launder drug money -- sometimes even using the animals to smuggle drugs.

SEE ALSO: Nicaragua News and Profiles

Indeed, some Central American drug transport groups -- including the Leones in Guatemala; and the Cachiros and Valle Valle clan in Honduras -- started out as small-time cattle rustlers, stealing and reselling cattle in border regions. They then re-adapted these smuggling routes and contacts for the drug trade

Cattle rustling in itself is partly a response to market forces, with smugglers seeking out higher prices for the animals in neighboring countries. Nicaraguan police have said they've identified rustlers from Mexico and El Salvador.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012

Authorities in southwest Colombia's Valle del Cauca province are bracing themselves for another violent realignment of underworld forces following the…

COLOMBIA / 13 FEB 2015

Reporters in Latin America are regularly targeted by threats, harassment, and murder, according to an annual report by Reporters Without…

HOMICIDES / 13 NOV 2013

A new United Nations report has found Latin America is the only region in the world where overall homicide rates…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…