Stolen Amazon: the roots of environmental crime in the tri-border regions

Deep in the heart of the Amazon basin lie two tri-border regions, where environmental crimes and their perpetrators know no national boundaries. In these vast jungle areas, isolated stretches of critical primary forest are being destroyed to mine gold, grow coca, and harvest timber.

The nexus of drug and environmental crime in these regions has brought together a volatile mix of criminal actors in a wilderness where the presence of law enforcement and the state are minimal. What little order exists is often imposed at gunpoint by criminal groups.

In addition to describing the specific dynamics of criminal activity in these border regions and the significant impact on local communities – especially indigenous ones –, this report highlights the main challenges of combating environmental crime in these tri-border areas,which are hampered by issues such as lack of resources and specialization, corruption, and insufficient intergovernmental cooperation.



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