Science: Cocaine Trafficking Is Destroying Central America’s Forests

Researchers at US universities are positing that that cocaine trafficking accounted for more than 900,000 acres of deforestation in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua from 2001 to 2013. The drug trade directs 90 percent of cocaine in the United States through Central America, and “traffickers in the region had to figure out a way to funnel their money into the legal economy,” notes Emiliano Rodríguez Mega for Science. In the three aforementioned countries, traffickers chose to launder their money by quickly clearing sizable amounts of remote land for “cattle ranching, agro-industrial plantations, and timber extraction.” In more environmentally-focused Costa Rica, however, narcotics-related activities caused no deforestation thanks to stronger protections for forests. The benefits of maintaining forests are many including carbon sequestration, biodiversity and support for indigenous populations. – YaleGlobal

Science: Cocaine Trafficking Is Destroying Central America’s Forests

Drug traffickers sending cocaine to the US have exploited weak protections for forests in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua
Emiliano Rodríguez Mega
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
© 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights Reserved.

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