Cocaine is driving deforestation, climate change, and migration

Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

The cocaine trade, and efforts to stop it, are causing $214.6 million in damage every year, new research released today shows. Drug-related deforestation is also driving people out of the region, and making climate change worse.
To move cocaine to its North American consumers, South American drug traffickers cut through Central America. To avoid law enforcement, the traffickers are using increasingly remote routes, including protected national forests. To launder their money, they invest in ranching and agriculture, two businesses notorious for bulldozing and burning forests to make way for livestock and crops. These findings are from three new reports presented in discussions hosted by the government of Costa Rica about how countries…

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