Researchers have identified a link between drug trafficking and deforestation in Central American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Forests may be cleared to create landing strips or roads or to establish businesses used for money laundering, and U.S. enforcement efforts may be fueling the trend, researchers say. "In response to the crackdown in Mexico, drug traffickers began moving south into Central America around 2007 to find new routes through remote areas to move their drugs from South America and get them to the United States," said Kendra McSweeney, an associate professor of geography at Ohio State University.

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