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Past Event

China’s role in poaching and wildlife trafficking in Mexico

Past Event

Wildlife trafficking from Mexico to China receives little attention, but it is growing and threatens biodiversity. Moreover, while the connections between wildlife trafficking and drug cartels are sometimes exaggerated, in Mexico wildlife trafficking, drug trafficking, and money laundering have become intertwined. Attracted by China’s enormous appetite for wildlife products and in contact with Chinese traders supplying precursor chemicals for the production of illegal fentanyl and methamphetamine, Mexican drug cartels are increasingly muscling their way into Mexico’s legal and illegal wildlife trade.

On March 29, the Brookings Institution’s Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors held a panel discussion exploring these issues. This event featured the findings of an upcoming Brookings report on China’s role in poaching and wildlife trafficking in Mexico.

After their remarks, panelists took questions from the audience. Viewers submitted questions via email to or Twitter using #NonstateArmedActors.



Adrian Reuter

Senior Advisor on Illegal Wildlife Trade for Latin America and the Caribbean - Wildlife Conservation Society


Valeria Towns

Professor - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

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