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Traffickers Nabbed, 1,500 Tortoises Won't Be Eaten

Traffickers Nabbed, 1,500 Tortoises Won't Be Eaten

Ten people have been arrested for suspected animal trafficking after 1,500 tortoises and 80 caimans were discovered on a boat in northern Colombia. The animals are both on the South American country’s endangered wildlife list.

Police stopped the boat on a river in the Mahates region, which is full of lakes and swamps, and is reportedly where the animals were also caught, said Bogota daily El Espectador and Spain's EFE agency.

The authorities added that the animals were most probably being trafficked for consumption: tortoises are considered a delicacy and were likely headed for a nearby region, while the caiman may have been destined for China.

María Claudia García, an official from the Environment Ministry, was quoted as saying that wildlife trafficking was second only to drug trafficking in terms of profits.

The animals were handed back over to an environmental agency called Cardique, who cared for them and released them back into the wild. On average, Colombian authorities save 160 animals from trafficking daily.

Photo: Karelj / wwarby / Worldcrunch

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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