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

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 27 JUL 2022

Guyana claims some 42,800 square nautical miles of ocean. Enforcement capabilities extend to just a fraction of the country's waters.

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 FEB 2021

Itapúa is a minor marijuana producer but an important transit corridor for cannabis smuggled into Argentina. Some areas of the…

COLOMBIA / 1 NOV 2021

Long-time leader, Otoniel, President Iván Duque said the gang's "days were numbered." But is that accurate?…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…