Mirna Echave reports for La Prensa:



Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.19.12 AMNational authorities await the judgment justice to be applied to a foreigner accused of smuggling wildlife parts of Bolivia. In his possession more than 300 jaguar teeth, and other parts of specimens of different species such as leather, feathers and other were found. This is just a sample of how wildlife traffickers operating in the country, where authorities admit to having few resources to cope.

The trafficker. The general director of Biodiversity, Teresa Pérez Chávez, said the latest case of gravity registered around the trafficking of species in country, has to do with the illegal sale of jaguar fangs, by at least one Chinese national.

“The operation was performed in December, Rurrenabaque, along with Pofoma (Forestry Police and Environment) and the Prosecutor. First, we followed several weeks and managed to arrest a citizen of Chinese origin, but at the hearing of precautionary measures, he was granted house arrest.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.19.42 AMAmong the things that were seized him at home, include not only jaguar teeth, but also skulls, skins and other remains of wild animals.

The sad thing, according to Perez, is that this person used the locals to find these species. It was learned, for example, buying each jaguar fang jaguar at $100. For the amount found, it is believed they may have been hunted, to this end, more than 50 animals because every jaguar would have at least four teeth extracted.

Currently, the management expects the next hearing to determine the sentence to be applied against this person.

Species under double danger. According to the authority, traffic attacks particularly those species that are considered to be endangered.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.41.03 AM“We speak mainly of the vicuna, which is within the national conservation program that leverage communities, but traffic is by poaching, mainly by the international borders. In the case of black caiman alligator and caiman, also in the Santa Cruz border, e.g. Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.43.04 AMSan Matias [sic] and, in short, unfortunately there are some locals and others who lend themselves to this work, for a very low price.”

As an example, she noted that for each lizard leather, traffickers pay Bs6 [less than a dollar] and when populations covered in sustainable development projects, get Bs250 each [more than $35].

At least 300 jaguar tusks, were found by the authorities at the house of the Chinese national.

“Poaching in Apolobamba is very strong and to control it, we would have to have an army, if we do not have the support of the entire population.” Teresa Pérez Chávez – DIRECTOR OF BIODIVERSITY.

… so much for those self-proclaimed indigenous people who care about mother earth…

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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