Rain forests around the world are rapidly disappearing due to illegal logging, the growth of palm oil plantations, the clearance for cattle ranching and other forms of commercial agriculture. Now scientists warn of another threat to the rain forests of Central America, especially those in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and some of their neighbors: the U.S. “war on drugs.” This is according to a news report in Jan. 30 Science Daily, “Drug trafficking leads to deforestation in Central America.”
It seems that the drug war in Mexico, fueled by the misguided anti-drug policies of the United States and the Mexican governments (in which both rely on military action and violence instead of legalization and reform) has driven the drug gangs deep into the remotest areas of the jungles of Central America, especially into supposedly protected regions where they are destroying large areas of the virgin forests to build airstrips, roads, and storage facilities to facilitate their drug activities.
They are also constructing “agribusinesses” in order to “launder their drug profits.” It is almost impossible to believe that all this activity could be going on under the noses of the United States and its allies in the so-called war on drugs. Such blatant activity appears to be protected due to the graft and corruption of all the parties involved. This has been going on for years, according to Kendra McSweeney, a scientist at Ohio State University whose research, along with others, was the basis of the Science Daily report.
“In response to the crackdown in Mexico,” she said, “drug traffickers began moving south into Central America around 2007 to find new routes through remote areas to move their drugs from South America and get them into the United States. When the drug traffickers moved in, they brought ecological devastation with them.”
– Read the entire article at People’s World.