Guatemalan forest fires attributed to drug trafficking

Conservation officials in Guatemala estimate that around 16,000 hectares of protected rainforest were destroyed between December 2019 and May 2020, the traditional fire season in the region. President Alejandro Giammattei said that 20 of 23 active fires were caused by drug traffickers clearing forest areas to build airstrips and to establish cattle ranches used to launder profits from the illicit drug trade.