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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a global conservation group, pays paramilitary groups that torture and kill villagers while patrolling African wildlife preserves for poachers, BuzzFeed News reports.

National park rangers supported by WWF have interrogated, tortured and killed villagers living in and around national parks in what amounts to numerous human rights violations. The rangers are hired and trained to combat violent gangs of poachers after endangered African animals, such as rhinos and elephants, to sell their parts.

“Human rights abuses are totally unacceptable and can never be justified in the name of conservation,” WWF said in a statement. The charity launched a review of its conservation programs after in light of the evidence uncovered by BuzzFeed.

WWF officials secured counterinsurgency training for park rangers from ex-U.S. military personnel. The global charity also used funds to purchase riot gear and weapons such as batons and knives. In at least one instance, WWF attempted to purchase weapons from the Central African Republic, whose forces parade the decapitated heads of victims through city streets.

The arms deal fell through after the Central African state “embezzled” WWF funds meant for the arms trade, according to WWF emails obtained by BuzzFeed. 


Killing in the name of conservation?

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