Poaching and smuggling of animals from Mexico to China continues to increase

Poaching and smuggling of animals from Mexico to China continues to increase  Due to China's huge rare animal business opportunities and Chinese medicinal materials market, the number and operations of poaching and smuggling wild animals from Mexico to China continue to increase. The latest reports indicate that there are even Mexican criminal groups involved, although the Chinese government has denied them any responsibility.  Outside the spotlight, wildlife poaching and smuggling are quietly taking place, with lizards, snakes, sea cucumbers, sharks, tigers and other animals poached in Mexico and shipped to China along with various types of wood. The Brookings Institute, an American think tank, recently released a report that pointed out that the level of poaching and smuggling from Mexico to China is more serious than expected, posing a threat to global animal protection and biodiversity.  Mexican criminal group gets involved  "As China develops new markets for natural resource sourcing, we can see local logging or capture," said report author Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. There has been a marked increase in volume, and it is quickly reaching disruptive and unsustainable levels.”  She pointed out in an online seminar held by the Brookings Institution on March 29 that in response to China's huge market demand, poaching and logging in Mexico are rampant, and the huge supply chain also involves the participation of Mexican criminal groups. The legal trade of wild animals is used to cover up money laundering and drug trafficking, and various wild animal products are exchanged for fentanyl and other raw materials for illegal drugs from Chinese traders.  In addition, in recent years, Mexican criminal groups have also come closer to contacting Chinese traders, taking over economic activities of poaching and smuggling, and participating in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering. Brown said that 15 years ago, Chinese traders dealt directly with poachers and fishermen, but Mexican criminal groups forced themselves to act as middlemen, stipulating that illegal poachers must pass their products through criminal groups before they can be resold to Chinese traders for export. to China to make money from it.  "The direct trafficking and smuggling activities of Chinese businessmen and local communities are excluded by criminal groups in Mexico, who interact with Chinese businessmen on the one hand and local communities on the other. Therefore, in Mexico, almost all channels for purchasing and exporting wildlife products , all attracted the attention and involvement of criminal groups.”  Another expert at the webinar, Adrian Reuter, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Latin American wildlife trafficking coordinator, said that China's trade with Latin American countries has grown rapidly in recent years, especially China's direct foreign trade. The corresponding growth in investment and China-led infrastructure projects has been particularly pronounced.  “This has been accompanied by an increase in trans-Pacific organized crime, including human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons, counterfeit goods and money laundering. Environmentalists are also paying close attention to the warming of relations between China and Latin America, investment from Asia, and investment in Latin America. environmental impact," he said.  Chinese government refuses to take responsibility: Mexico's own business  In addition, Brown mentioned in the report that because of the demand for special species such as traditional Chinese medicine and ingredients, as well as the collection hobby of Chinese businessmen, sea cucumbers, abalone, shark fins, and rare sea turtles, or local rosewood in South America, are all in Mexico. Poached and logged species, the most well-known of which include the endangered totoaba.  The dried product made from the totoaba (fish maw), known as fish maw or fish maw, is highly prized in China for its medicinal properties, and prices have risen. According to the Earth League International, a non-governmental organization, 10-year-old fish maw can fetch $85,000 per kilogram in China, so cases of illegal fishing and smuggling are endless. Ramón Franco Díaz, president of the Fisheries Federation of San Felipe, a coastal town on the California peninsula, recalled: “We fished totoaba in the 1960s and 1970s. Then the Chinese brought up totoaba. A suitcase full of dollars came and bought our conscience."  But the Chinese government refuses to take responsibility for poaching and smuggling in Mexico.  "China has generally maintained an attitude that the Mexican government's own business of animal and plant products is not China's responsibility. China has always maintained a cold attitude and is not interested in any kind of permanent norm," Brown said. , she believes that China is not keen on bilateral cooperation, formally and systematically fighting wildlife trafficking with the local government, but prefers informal case-by-case cooperation. When the totoaba was endangered in 2018, Beijing stepped up its crackdown on totoaba smuggling out of international pressure to improve bilateral relations with the United States by focusing on environmental policy, she said. But beyond that, there is little willingness to cooperate from Beijing.  “Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has also put more emphasis on its determination to enforce environmental protection, and while this narrative is often at odds with China’s actual behavior, it remains an important mechanism for engaging (the Chinese government) internationally.” Brown said she looked forward to an international coalition dedicated to environmental protection that would encourage China to take stronger, more systematic action that would be sustained, rather than just a short "meal" time.

Due to China's huge rare animal business opportunities and Chinese medicinal materials market, the number and operations of poaching and smuggling wild animals from Mexico to China continue to increase. The latest reports indicate that there are even Mexican criminal groups involved, although the Chinese government has denied them any responsibility.

Outside the spotlight, wildlife poaching and smuggling are quietly taking place, with lizards, snakes, sea cucumbers, sharks, tigers and other animals poached in Mexico and shipped to China along with various types of wood. The Brookings Institute, an American think tank, recently released a report that pointed out that the level of poaching and smuggling from Mexico to China is more serious than expected, posing a threat to global animal protection and biodiversity.

Mexican criminal group gets involved

"As China develops new markets for natural resource sourcing, we can see local logging or capture," said report author Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. There has been a marked increase in volume, and it is quickly reaching disruptive and unsustainable levels.”

She pointed out in an online seminar held by the Brookings Institution on March 29 that in response to China's huge market demand, poaching and logging in Mexico are rampant, and the huge supply chain also involves the participation of Mexican criminal groups. The legal trade of wild animals is used to cover up money laundering and drug trafficking, and various wild animal products are exchanged for fentanyl and other raw materials for illegal drugs from Chinese traders.

In addition, in recent years, Mexican criminal groups have also come closer to contacting Chinese traders, taking over economic activities of poaching and smuggling, and participating in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering. Brown said that 15 years ago, Chinese traders dealt directly with poachers and fishermen, but Mexican criminal groups forced themselves to act as middlemen, stipulating that illegal poachers must pass their products through criminal groups before they can be resold to Chinese traders for export. to China to make money from it.

"The direct trafficking and smuggling activities of Chinese businessmen and local communities are excluded by criminal groups in Mexico, who interact with Chinese businessmen on the one hand and local communities on the other. Therefore, in Mexico, almost all channels for purchasing and exporting wildlife products , all attracted the attention and involvement of criminal groups.”

Another expert at the webinar, Adrian Reuter, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Latin American wildlife trafficking coordinator, said that China's trade with Latin American countries has grown rapidly in recent years, especially China's direct foreign trade. The corresponding growth in investment and China-led infrastructure projects has been particularly pronounced.

“This has been accompanied by an increase in trans-Pacific organized crime, including human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons, counterfeit goods and money laundering. Environmentalists are also paying close attention to the warming of relations between China and Latin America, investment from Asia, and investment in Latin America. environmental impact," he said.

Chinese government refuses to take responsibility: Mexico's own business

In addition, Brown mentioned in the report that because of the demand for special species such as traditional Chinese medicine and ingredients, as well as the collection hobby of Chinese businessmen, sea cucumbers, abalone, shark fins, and rare sea turtles, or local rosewood in South America, are all in Mexico. Poached and logged species, the most well-known of which include the endangered totoaba.

The dried product made from the totoaba (fish maw), known as fish maw or fish maw, is highly prized in China for its medicinal properties, and prices have risen. According to the Earth League International, a non-governmental organization, 10-year-old fish maw can fetch $85,000 per kilogram in China, so cases of illegal fishing and smuggling are endless. Ramón Franco Díaz, president of the Fisheries Federation of San Felipe, a coastal town on the California peninsula, recalled: “We fished totoaba in the 1960s and 1970s. Then the Chinese brought up totoaba. A suitcase full of dollars came and bought our conscience."

But the Chinese government refuses to take responsibility for poaching and smuggling in Mexico.

"China has generally maintained an attitude that the Mexican government's own business of animal and plant products is not China's responsibility. China has always maintained a cold attitude and is not interested in any kind of permanent norm," Brown said. , she believes that China is not keen on bilateral cooperation, formally and systematically fighting wildlife trafficking with the local government, but prefers informal case-by-case cooperation. When the totoaba was endangered in 2018, Beijing stepped up its crackdown on totoaba smuggling out of international pressure to improve bilateral relations with the United States by focusing on environmental policy, she said. But beyond that, there is little willingness to cooperate from Beijing.

“Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has also put more emphasis on its determination to enforce environmental protection, and while this narrative is often at odds with China’s actual behavior, it remains an important mechanism for engaging (the Chinese government) internationally.” Brown said she looked forward to an international coalition dedicated to environmental protection that would encourage China to take stronger, more systematic action that would be sustained, rather than just a short "meal" time.
Previous Post Next Post