“How to pass the custom?” “You need to bribe someone. We do not bribe the custom, but the police officer, with higher level…” “By container?” “Yes. Possible.” “Have you tried?” “[…] I just send it to Brazil, there are more trading companies there. You can easily smuggle it to Brazil or Peru.” This is the transcript of a conversation, translated from Chinese, between an undercover investigator and a trafficker of jaguar body parts, excerpted from hundreds of hours of footage collected between 2018 and 2020 in Bolivia. The investigators, from the anti-trafficking group Earth League International (ELI) and the Dutch national committee to the IUCN (IUCN NL), sought to expose one of the least-known links in the trafficking chain of this iconic big cat: members of the Chinese community in Bolivia who, it was believed, would be more forthcoming with fellow Chinese speakers than with the local authorities investigating them. With the language barrier out of the way, ELI’s undercover Chinese investigators were able to uncover important information about these traffickers: how they cluster, where they operate, and what routes they use to export the jaguar parts to Asia. “Jaguar trafficking is not just a conservation problem, but an organized crime,” says Andrea Crosta, ELI’s CEO and co-founder. The fangs acquire more value when they are encapsulated in pendants. This is how they leave Bolivia for Asia, in particular China. Image courtesy of Earth League International (ELI). This investigation identifies at least three such criminal groups operating in Bolivia and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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