The Roots of Environmental Crime in the Colombian Amazon

The study “The Roots of Environmental Crime in the Colombian Amazon”, prepared by the Igarape Institute in partnership with InSight Crime, sheds light on how criminal organizations strongly contribute to deforestation, environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity in Colombia, generating social conflicts and climate insecurity. The country is home to 10% of the Amazon rainforest.

The publication is the first in a series of studies that highlight how environmental crimes harm ecosystems and communities. The documents complement the Igarape Institute’s climate safety data visualization platform: EcoCrime Data.

“The Roots of Environmental Crime in the Colombian Amazon” describes the origin and current dynamics of different environmental crimes in Colombia, based on its own investigation and interviews.

After six decades of conflict and a still uncertain peace agreement, criminal activities have diversified in the forest, including land grabbing, illegal logging, mining and wildlife trafficking. Many groups operating in the region today come from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in a system that also involves the participation of politicians and public officials.

The study points to solutions, such as the importance of an integrated approach between security forces, regulatory agencies, NGOs and local and indigenous communities. Collective action is fundamental.


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