Overall IWT context: 

Key spp/taxa in illegal trade include timber, caiman, iguana, birds, monkeys, sloths. According to El Espectador, IWT is a serious problem with an estimated 160 animals illegally trafficked per day , totalling more than 58,000 each year.

Community involvement policy context: 

Under Colombian wildlife legislation, all wildlife belongs to the State. however, local communities have the right to participate in decisions that may affect the environment and the right to enjoy a healthy environment. Although Colombian wildlife legislation contains a general ban on hunting, subsistence hunting and fishing is allowed. When animals threaten human life and/or property the wildlife may be killed if the wildlife constitutes an immediate danger or if measures to drive them away (without harming them) have failed. Any wildlife captured or killed remains the property of the state. Since 1973 under Law 89/1980 the state has recognised the rights of Indigenous communities to land, and the 1991 Constitution recognises the ancestral rights to land of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian traditional communities and their right to control and use their communal forest territories according to their social and cultural values. About half of the country’s forests are titled to Indigenous people in what are known as resguardos indigenas and most of the remainder is state owned.

National policy context for IWT: 

Colombia has been party to CITES, since 1981

Under Colombian wildlife law (key pieces include Law 84 of 1989 to Protect Animals and Environmental and Natural Resources Law 1333 of 2009), there are 4 categories of wildlife crime: (1) hunting offences; (2) trading offences; (3) licencing offences; and (4) damaging offences. Penalties for such offences include confiscation of property, revocation/suspension of licenses and/or permits, monetary fines from 5,000 pesos to 100,000 pesos and imprisonment terms from 1 month to 5 years.


The fate of American crocodile populations in Colombia suffered dramatically from a prolonged period of heavy trade in skins that started in 1928. During the next five decades, the species was practically razed from its natural habitats.


Species of focus: 

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