Something fishy: Wildlife trafficking from Mexico to China

Wildlife trafficking from Mexico to China receives little attention, but it is growing and threatens biodiversity.

Date: March 8th, 2022

Source: Brookings

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 the country’s legal and illegal wildlife trade.

This blog previews a detailed report of mine to be published by the Brookings Institution later this month. It is part of a Brookings series of reports and blogs on China’s role in wildlife, drug, and human trafficking. The report and blog are based on over 100 interviews I conducted between October and December 2021 in various parts of Mexico and via virtual platforms with China-, Asia-, and Europe-based counternarcotics, law enforcement, and government officials, business community representatives, investigative journalists, scholars, and environmental activists.

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Mexico president says pitched plan to curb import reliance at leaders summit

Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he proposed a plan last week to boost investment in North America to reduce reliance on foreign imports in his talks with U.S. President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

During the summit in Washington, Lopez Obrador said if North America did not move to strengthen its economy, the region risked being left behind by China, and suggested Canada and the United States should make more use of migrant labor.

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Mexico to reserve future lithium production for government

10/01/2021

Source: AP News

Mexico said Friday it wants to declare lithium a “strategic mineral” and reserve any future exploration and mining for the government.

The move is likely to leave Mexico’s only privately exploited mine, expected to start production in 2023, in the hands of a Chinese lithium company.

The changes are contained in a bill that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has sent to congress. The bill also changes the Constitution to strengthen government control over electricity production and distribution.

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MEXICO, CHINA MAKE UP MOST OF WEEK’S PORK SALES

Source: Brownfield Ag News

The USDA says pork export sales were up sharply during the week ending September 23rd.  The total of 42,500 tons was 31% higher than the previous week, with Mexico and China combining for more than 80% of the week’s pork sales. Beef exports were up modestly, with Japan, South Korea, and China leading the way. Soybean, soybean product, cotton, and rice sales all showed week to week improvements, while corn and wheat sales declined. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out October 12th.

Physical shipments of beans, corn, sorghum, and wheat were less than what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. The 2021/22 marketing year started June 1st, 2021 for wheat, August 1st, 2021 for cotton and rice, and September 1st, 2021 for beans, corn, and sorghum, and starts October 1st, 2021 for soybean products. The marketing year for beef and pork is the calendar year.

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How Chinese Criminals Secretly Move Millions for Mexico Cartels

05/12/2021

Source: Insight Crime

While the involvement of Chinese money-laundering rings in handling drug proceeds from Mexico is nothing new, a number of recent court cases in the United States have revealed crucial information about how these schemes work.

InSight Crime looks at how colossal amounts of money are being laundered, the seemingly legitimate businessmen behind it all and why US prosecutors are stumped about how to proceed.

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Mexico minister plans visits to Russia, China, India, U.S. over vaccines

04/06/2021

Source: Reuters

Tue, April 6, 2021, 12:06 PM·1 min read

(Updates with details of visits)

MEXICO CITY, April 6 (Reuters) – Mexico’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he planned visits soon to Russia, China, India and the United States as part of his government’s efforts to make sure that its supply agreements for vaccines against COVID-19 are honored.

Speaking at a regular government news conference alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the dates for his visits were still to be confirmed, but that he planned to embark on them “very soon.”

“The aim is to ensure that Mexico has the vaccines agreed in the times set out during the next few weeks,” Ebrard said.

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Mexico to rely heavily on Chinese vaccines

03/10/2021

Source: The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico announced a huge bet on Chinese vaccines Tuesday, without making public any information about their efficacy.

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican government has signed agreements for 12 million doses of the yet-unapproved Sinopharm vaccine and increased to a total of 20 million doses its contracts for the Coronavac dose made by China’s Sinovac.

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Mexico approves China’s CanSino and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines

02/10/2021

Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has authorized emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac and CanSino COVID-19 vaccines, Mexico’s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Wednesday.

Mexico’s vaccination drive has gotten off to a slow start, and officials in Latin America’s second-largest economy are hoping to source millions of doses from China to boost their efforts amid global vaccines shortages and delays.

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Special Report: Burner phones and banking apps: Meet the Chinese ‘brokers’ laundering Mexican drug money

12/03/2020

Source: Reuters

GUADALAJARA (Reuters) – Early next year, a Chinese businessman named Gan Xianbing will be sentenced in a Chicago courtroom for laundering just over $530,000 in Mexican cartel drug money.

Gan, 50, was convicted in February of money laundering and operating an unlicensed money-transfer business that whisked cartel cash from U.S. drug sales offshore. Gan has maintained his innocence; his lawyers say he was entrapped by U.S. authorities. The trial garnered few headlines and little of the public fascination reserved for kingpins of powerful narcotics syndicates that U.S. federal prosecutors said Gan served.

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Mexico peso headed for choppy waters on back of trade uncertainty

peso

10/24/19 – Reuters

By Abraham Gonzalez

Mexico’s peso is headed for choppy waters in what remains of 2019 as the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and the uncertain fate of the new North American trade deal could cause the currency to fluctuate between 18.80 and 21 per dollar, analysts say.

The peso’s immediate future ultimately depends on whether the world’s two largest economies can resolve their trade dispute and if U.S. lawmakers ratify the new U.S-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement before it gets bogged down in the U.S. electoral politics.

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