Friday, June 9, 2023

Report: Animals are trafficked through social networks in Mexico

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – Trafficking in wildlife and endangered species is common in Mexico and occurs primarily online, where traffickers contact potential customers through social networks such as Facebook, a new report suggests.

The Center for Biological Diversity said in a report Wednesday that it had contacted people in Mexico through Facebook groups that sell protected species such as howler monkeys and toucans.

The center’s investigators received price quotes that included delivery, despite the fact that the sellers admitted they did not have legal documents for the animals.

“Via Facebook Messenger, Pedro15, originally from Durango, offered a canoe-billed toucan for 12,000 pesos ($600), and a howler or Saraguato monkey for 18,000 pesos ($900), the shipping cost of which One thousand pesos ($50), extra for each animal,” the document reads.

The Mexican government considers howler monkeys to be an “endangered” species and prohibits their sale or capture.

Another vendor in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, offered orange-fronted parrots for $500 each; They will be delivered in a cardboard box packed in the trunk of the car.

The report stresses, “It is estimated that more than 78,000 parrots are caught illegally in Mexico each year and of these, 77% die before reaching the final consumer, i.e. about 60,000 parrots with their lives.” lose.”

Another seller offered a baby sloth, but as the report states, “Unfortunately, 80-90% of illegally trafficked sloths die. Babies are taken from their mothers, often violently, and then often malnourished, locked in cages and physically abused.”

Facebook’s parent company Meta has claimed it has a policy to remove content and accounts that violate its ban on selling endangered animals, but its enforcement appears to be weak.

“Our policies prohibit the sale of endangered animals and we remove content or accounts that violate our rules,” Meta said in a statement. “To enforce our rules, we partner with national organizations and rely on community reporting to help keep this type of illegal activity off our platforms.”

In Mexico, protected species of animals have been found that are displayed in private residences, public markets, and tourist attractions.

The Mexican government appears to have little investigative capacity, relying mainly on complaints posted on social media when people see animals or when someone runs away.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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