HomeNewsBriefUS Helps Fight Trafficking of Natural, Cultural Resources in Mayan Jungle
BRIEF

US Helps Fight Trafficking of Natural, Cultural Resources in Mayan Jungle

GUATEMALA / 25 APR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

The US Embassy in Guatemala City is hosting a workshop to help authorities from Guatemala, Mexico and Belize improve cooperation against the trafficking of natural resources and cultural artifacts from the Mayan jungle.

Officials from the US Departments of State and the Interior, as well as the Agency for International Development, are working with their counterparts from the three countries on fighting the illegal trade in natural resources and cultural artifacts from the region, as Prensa Libre reports.

Cynthia Perera of the Department of the Interior noted that the meeting was "the first time that there has been a dialogue with reprensentatives of the agencies of environment, culture, prosecution, and police of these nations," according to another report from the newspaper.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to a 2010 presentation (download .ppt) by the US Ministry of the Interior, the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala is threatened by a range of criminal activities, including illegal ranching, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and looting of archaeological sites. The report notes that the government of Guatemala has stepped up its efforts to combat these threats since 2009.

The networks of artifact smugglers are sometimes connected to those of drug traffickers. In 2009, four Mexican and three Costa Rican citizens were implicated in a plot to smuggle cocaine hidden within panels of Egyptian marble. The panels were labeled as cardboard box tops when they entered Costa Rica. What's more, there is evidence that Mexican drug trafficking organizations have expanded their operations into the illicit trade in religious artifacts.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) estimates that the global illicit trade in cultural items is worth $8 billion a year.

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.

Tags

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 20 SEP 2016

A corruption scandal has hit the family of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales like a tsunami, with his son and brother…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 31 JAN 2014

Drug trafficking is responsible for the massive destruction of rainforests across Central America, according to a new study, destroying huge…

BARRIO 18 / 20 APR 2017

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…