Operation Jaguar Update: the Bolivia Connection

  • By ELI
  • January 20, 2021
Earth League International Investigation Reveals that Three International Criminal Groups Control Jaguar Trafficking from Bolivia


ELI’s Team: How do you pass Customs?
Chinese Trafficker: You need to bribe someone. We do not bribe Customs personnel, but we do bribe the Police, a high-ranking officer (…)
ELI’s Team: Do they do it by container?
Chinese Trafficker: Yes you can.
ELI’s Team: Have you already tried to do it?
Chinese Trafficker: (…) I send it through Brazil, there are more commercial companies there.

This conversation between an ELI’s undercover agent and a jaguar parts trafficker is just an excerpt from the hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings that the ELI’s teams collected between 2018 and 2020, in different regions of Bolivia, in partnership with IUCN Netherlands and IFAW (Operation Jaguar). This work sought to expose one of the least known links in the jaguar trafficking supply chain: the Asian communities that live in Latin America.

The ELI’s undercover operatives have been able to collect important information about these traffickers and their “modus operandi“, including how they operate and collaborate with each other, how they bribe government officials, and what routes they use to smuggle jaguar parts and other illegal wildlife products to Asia. “Jaguar trafficking is not just a conservation problem, but a criminal problem,” says Andrea Crosta, ELI’s director and co-founder.


A series of Confidential Intelligence Briefs (CIBs) have been prepared and shared with national and international law enforcement agencies. 

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We protect Wildlife and our Planet with intelligence-gathering operations and by investigating and exposing wildlife criminals worldwide, including poachers, traffickers, businessmen and corrupt government officials. Earth League International (former Elephant Action League) is a hybrid non-profit organization that merges the worlds of intelligence, investigation and conservation in service of wildlife and the people who protect it.