Combating Wildlife Trafficking from Latin America to the United States

The Latin American region (Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America) experiences the same perfect storm of factors that have led to rampant wildlife trafficking in other regions: It is home to many developing countries, has thousands of imperiled and endemic species, and struggles with corruption and enforcement. Consequently, the United Nations designated Latin America a priority region in combating wildlife crime.

The purpose of this report is to help the United States address this growing crisis by 1) assessing the capacity of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to detect and deter wildlife trafficking and to collect and analyze data on this illegal activity; 2) analyzing the effectiveness of existing law enforcement mechanisms and proposals for enhancing the overall capacity of the federal government to counter wildlife trafficking; 3) identifying current patterns of high-volume trafficking from Latin America; and 4) identifying gaps in the existing response to wildlife crimes at our ports of entry.

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