Iguana-smuggler’s sentence hailed in Ecuador


In what is being described here as a conservation-enforcement milestone, a criminal court on the Galápagos Islands this month sentenced a German man to four years in jail for trying to smuggle iguanas out of the archipelago in his luggage. The Feb. 4 sentencing of lifeguard Dirk Bender marks the first criminal proceeding on the Galápagos Islands to result in a prison sentence for an environmental crime. It has drawn strong applause from green advocates, who nevertheless disagree on whether the penalty—the maximum allowable—will prompt more vigorous processing of the many environmental cases languishing in Ecuador’s courts. Bender, 32, was sentenced a month after being convicted of trying to remove protected species from the Galápagos, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978... [Log in to read more]

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