Thursday, February 10, 2011

Footwear Manufacturer Arrested For Using Skins Of Endangered Animals

Ines Gomez Sanchez, 60, a Guatemalan man who has spent the last 15 years fabricating shoes in the town of Pastores, Sacatepéquez, near Antigua, Guatemala, was arrested for using skins of endangered species of animals.

Gomez’s arrest was solicited by the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) last week based on several complaints filed by residents regarding his fabrication and sale of footware using pelts of endangered animals. On arrival at Gomez’s shop, Botas G, investigators found one pair of boots made out of jaguar, 2 made out of boa constrictor, and one each made of crocodile and caiman. These boots can come to cost close to US$2,000. Gomez was retained under Guatemalan wildlife trafficking laws which stipulates a sentence of 10 years in jail. According to Kurt Duchez of CONAP, there are at least 10 other footware businesses in Guatemala that use skins of protected wildlife.

Lets hope this served as a wake up call for all those involved in the killing and trafficking of wild and endangered animals. To think of a precious, nearly extinct jaguar being murdered and mutilated for a stupid, useless pair of boots just makes my stomach sick. I really hope the Guatemalan authorities take this crime very very seriously and does all it can to keep this criminal in jail and send a strong message to everyone reiterating the importance of wildlife conservation!



News is courtesy of ARCAS Guatemala

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