Yucca Plant Exploited by Organized Crime in Baja California, Mexico

Gangs have been stealing the plants and selling their stems for years.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - What do totoaba, an endangered species of fish prized in China for its bladder, petroleum pipelines and the Mojave yucca plant have in common? All three are targeted by criminal organizations in Mexico.

While the illegal fishing of totoaba in the Gulf of California – and the resultant devastating impact on the vaquita marina porpoise – and the clandestine tapping of pipelines in states such as Guanajuato and Puebla have been widely reported, there has been much less focus on the theft and trafficking of yucca schidigera, a flowering plant native to the deserts of northern Mexico and . . .

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