Jaguar fangs traffic

Jaguar fangs traffic

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Like the ivory from the tusks of elephants, the tusks and skins of felines such as the jaguar and puma are prized in China as a symbol of social status and economic power and the Chinese are willing to pay large sums of money for each of these pieces whose value can amount up to $ us. 5000 in China.

On May 30, the 29-year-old Chinese citizen Jianfang Xiao was caught in an operation carried out by the Park Rangers of Madidi Park and the Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve in conjunction with the Rurrenabaque Police. A park ranger acted as an undercover agent and the policemen were able to catch the dealer in possession of 7 jaguar tusks, who had posted a notice on a local radio offering $ 100 for each tusk.

This is not the first case in the region, but Yan Yixing, another Chinese, was captured in December 2014 in possession of fangs, snake hides, deer antlers, two stuffed feline heads and with evidence on his traffic laptop of parts of wild animals. Although the authorities of the General Directorate of Biodiversity and Protected Areas denounced the crime, the prosecutors and judges downplayed this case, probably because it was an environmental case and the trafficker was released. The case remains open according to information provided by the DGBAP Attorney.

Currently, the trafficker has a gambling and prostitution house for the Chinese who work in the three Chinese companies that operate in the region, the CAMC that built a sugar mill in San Buenaventura, SINOPEC in charge of building the Rurrenabaque San Buenaventura Bridge and the China Railway Construction Corporation in charge of the construction of the Rurrenabaque - Riberalta paved highway that just opened works this May 7.

On April 20, 2015, the reporter Marilyn Choque of the newspaper La Razón carried out an exhaustive investigation and as a result a full report was published in the magazine “Informe” which indicates that there were 6 other cases of trafficking in jaguar tusks detected in the post office. Bolivia (ECOBOL) and at the airport. A Chinese citizen was discovered sending 105 tusks bound for China. The total of all cases without counting the two Rurrenabaque cases amounts to 166 pieces of tusks, which means that 42 jaguars were euthanized. This is what was detected, however the numbers of cases that have not been discovered can be much higher, especially the luggage of international flights that are more difficult to detect, where the fangs, skins, etc. can be camouflaged. [ one]

It is worrying that the Asian wildlife trafficking networks have reached Bolivia because several species of animals in the world are in danger of extinction due to the beliefs of Chinese culture. Among the most affected are the tiger, the rhinoceros, species of bears and elephants.

Elephant tusk trafficking is killing this species in several countries, for example in the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a few years ago it was possible to observe about 5000 elephants in an area from the air, today they are rarely seen. they observe herds that reach a maximum of 250 animals. The total number of elephants estimated in Garamba is 1500 specimens, only 10% of the population that existed a few years ago. In Zakouma National Park in Chad, 90% of the elephants in that country have been lost since 2002, 3,000 elephants were slaughtered between 2005 and 2008. In Sudan there are no more elephants. Terrorist groups such as the LRA (Lord’s Resisitance Army) among others, operate in several countries committing atrocities against civilians, killed 1,250 people in 2009, kidnap hundreds of women and girls for sex slaves, mutilate people and turn children into soldiers. These terrorist groups are financed with the ivory trade, as well as with feline parts whose main market is the Chinese. [2]

The body parts of felines are not only appreciated for aesthetics but in Chinese culture there is a belief that the strength of the tiger and its mythical power have medicinal properties that cure a series of ailments, energize the body and increase male potency. Many parts of the body of felines such as the tiger, lion, leopard and jaguar are appreciated by traditional Chinese medicine, for example the bones, whiskers, claws, eyes, fat, penis, testicles and bile.

Currently there are more tigers in captivity than those that live in their natural habitats, so the world population of tigers in the wild reaches only approximately 3,890 individuals, distributed throughout Asia from Siberia to Southeast Asia. Until 2010, the number of tigers was reduced for a century to approximately 3,200 individuals, a figure that has increased due to conservation efforts, however three subspecies of tigers are already extinct out of the nine that existed, such as the Bali tiger. the smallest of all subspecies, the Caspian tiger that inhabited around the Caspian Sea in Turkey, Iran, Central Asia to the Xinjiang desert in China and was one of the largest subspecies along with the Bengal tiger. The last Caspian tiger is believed to have been killed in 1990. The Java tiger only inhabited the Island that bears its name and became extinct in the 1970's. It was one of the smallest, the male reached the weight of 115 kilograms. Although protection began in 1947, it was too late to save it. [3]

Rhinos in various countries in Africa and Asia are also suffering a similar fate because their horn, which is made of the same material as nails or hair, is considered an aphrodisiac in Chinese culture.

Due to the strict protection of tigers and the drastic decrease of their wild populations in Asia, the traffic of feline parts is reaching far away countries like ours, even more with the massive presence of Chinese citizens.

In Bolivia we must begin to worry about protecting wild cats such as jaguars, cougars, ocelots and other wild cats and curb the traffic to Asia with drastic measures. These species are not only part of the heritage that Bolivians have, but they fulfill a very important function in ecosystems, such as controlling the individuals who are their prey, since otherwise they can reproduce excessively and cause damage to plants or other species. In addition, carnivores control sick individuals that may be in a herd, for example peccaries. They are also part of the culture of the peoples of the lowlands, such as the Mosetenes of Pilón Lajas who recently denounced a Korean who visited their communities and offered them money in exchange for jaguar tusks and put him in stocks until the authorities They picked him up to take him prisoner.

With the presence of Chinese companies in Bolivia, not only is the crime of wildlife trafficking increasing, but also other crimes such as prostitution and human trafficking due to the number of Chinese workers who arrive with these companies.

There are at least 6 Chinese companies in charge of public projects called priority such as road construction, industrial infrastructure, oil and mining activity. In addition to the acquisition of Chinese barges that have not yet arrived in the country, whose storage debt amounts to US $ 15 million, half the value of the barges. [4] The Tupac Katari Satellite that cost $ Us. 301 million whose benefits are not evident, rather telecommunications services have dropped in quality. There are irregularities in most of the works carried out by Chinese companies that have been awarded US $. 2.45 billion in contracts with the government, which represents 7.8% of GDP and more than a third of total public investment. [5]

The Trinidad San Ignacio de Moxos highway in charge of the Chinese company International Water Electric Corp. (CWE) that began approximately two years ago and should be completed in 6 months and is only 5% complete. [6] The CAMC company questioned by the influence peddling scandal and that had problems and labor demands during the construction of the San Buenaventura Sugar Mill, a project also questioned because it was built in a non-sugar cane area, where the soil and climate is not the best for industrial sugarcane production since sugarcane requires a drier climate to have a higher sugar content, as in Santa Cruz. Hopefully it is not another failure like ENATEX. This company was also rescinded the contract to build the track for the Bulo Bulo Montero Railway for failing to comply with the schedule and causing delays in the work of the first section. [7] A water drilling truck was also purchased for $ Us. 2.5 million for the Government of La Paz and. Despite the background of this company and the irregularities, it was awarded the project for the Potassium Salts Plant in Potosí. [8]

Likewise, in the case of the Rurrenabaque San Buenaventura bridge, which was to be financed by the IDB, which never disbursed the money because various social and environmental issues were not resolved and there was no consensus with the population. For this reason the government decided to finance it with money from the General Treasury and dispense with the financing, a public consultation was not held, the location of the bridge and its accesses were imposed, which were rejected by the population because they cross the old and tourist center, pass near most of the school zones, and they cut the Municipal Reserve for the protection of water sources, turning a tourist town into a dusty town of heavy transport passage. [9]

Thus, SINOPEC was hired by a Chinese oil company that, together with the supervisor PROES, are trampling on the rights of residents, the works are progressing without having reached agreements with those affected, the machinery works until late at night and are already converting Rurrenabaque is a dusty and polluted town in addition to destroying the urban asphalt because dump trucks, tractors and cement mixer trucks pass through the old town.

Experts indicate that the Chinese presence in Latin America is part of the expansionist ambition that will increase extractivism and dependence on the export of raw materials, leaving aside the development of peoples and the transfer of technology. The credits from China make it conditional on hiring Chinese companies to carry out works and provide services on a mandatory basis and largely use Chinese personnel and exploit and mistreat local workers, as is the case with Sinohydro in charge of the Ivirgarzama double track. - Ichilo, where they complained that they are not given work clothes, they are provided with a plate of food a day and the working hours are from 10 to 13 hours.

The announced credit of US $ 7.5 billion from China means more companies from that country in Bolivia, as the Chinese ambassador said they will reach one hundred. There are currently 40 Chinese companies affiliated with the Chamber of Chinese Companies in Bolivia, a figure that will double or triple in the near future if this millionaire loan is acquired and will cause the foreign debt to increase incredibly. If in the future we do not have the ability to pay, the country will be in serious trouble and we will become dependent on that country, having to accept the conditions they impose on us. [10]

The government is probably not measuring the risks of a greater Chinese presence in Bolivia that threatens our biodiversity, which is the heritage of Bolivians, and if it is lost, it may be irreversible, especially if these companies start operating in Protected Areas.

On the other hand, a greater Chinese presence may be accompanied by dangerous Chinese mafias that are known internationally not only for trafficking in wildlife, but also trafficking in drugs, weapons and people.

Ref .:
[2] National Geographic “Ivory, the story of a crime” September 2015
[10] -country


Video: Top facts about jaguars. WWF (July 2022).


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